LGBTQ+ Resources for Parents and Professionals

Resources for Parents

The Family Equality Council’s book nook is a comprehensive list of LGBTQ+ books for the whole family. From picture books for young children to young adult novels, this list represents diverse families in a loving and respectful way.

In this factsheet, foster parents will learn about LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system, the unique risks they face, and the important role that foster parents can play in reducing those risks. This factsheet discusses specific actions that foster parents can take to create a welcoming home for all youth and to promote health and well-being in the community. At the end of this factsheet are links to many resources for more information and support.

The information in handbook is divided into developmental stages based on the types of needs children have at different ages. It is intended to support parents in responding to their children’s (spoken and unspoken) questions as they come to understand who they are in the context of their family and who their family is in the context of their community.

People look to their faith as a source of guidance and inspiration – and LGBTQ people and our family and friends are no different. The HRC Religion and Faith Program is working to create a world where nobody is forced to choose between who they are, whom they love and what they believe.

This guide was crafted for the parents and guardians of young gender non-conforming children to help them understand and better support their child, while empowering them in navigating common situations they may encounter. There is an increasing body of resources focused on transgender children; however, young gender non-conforming children may present, dress, play and identify differently than their young transgender and non-binary peers.

The Family Acceptance Project has developed a family model to increase family support, decrease risk and promote the well-being of LGBTQ+ children and youth in Latter-day Saint families. They have developed a series of written and visual materials for families, caregivers and providers. This booklet offers basic information to help parents and caregivers support their LGBTQ+ children, to reduce their risk for depression, suicide, substance abuse and HIV infection and to promote their well-being. It is available in English, Spanish and Chinese.

In 2012, the Human Rights Campaign conducted a groundbreaking survey of more than 10,000 LGBT youth, ages 13-17, in the United States. The survey asked participants to talk about the levels of acceptance and support they felt from their families, peers and communities, as well as their participation in both school and extracurricular activities. This report focuses on the nearly 40 percent of survey participants who identified as bisexual. It is important to note that while this is one of the largest surveys of its kind, the findings are not representative of the entire U.S. LGBT youth population. The findings do align, however, with many lessons learned by those who work with LGBT youth. 

This guide is designed for anyone who knows a transgender or gender-expansive child, plans to write about children who transition or simply wants to learn more. It reviews what medical and education experts know about transgender children, explores some myths about gender transition in childhood and offers suggestions for adults with a transgender child in their life.

The Colorado Gay-Straight Alliance Network serves as a resource for LGBTQ and allied students committed to combating bullying and creating a safer, more inclusive learning environment in Colorado schools. The Colorado GSA Network offers information on laws and policies that protect students in schools and suggests activities that Gay-Straight Alliances can participate in to make their schools safer.

Resources for Professionals

Sample questions from the state of New York.

This guide was produced by the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children-All Families program and discusses key considerations for conducting LGBTQ-inclusive and affirming home studies. For each topic area, potential questions are listed as well as the rationale for each question, and additional considerations to keep in mind.

A guide to healthy approaches and harmful practices from the Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative.

The Colorado Child Welfare Training System offers Setting the Foundation: LGBTQ Competency for Child Welfare Professionals. This training curriculum was written by The Human Rights Campaign as part of its All Children All Families project to improve child welfare agency practice with LGBTQ youth and families.

Court can be an intimidating setting for anyone—children, youth and adults alike. It has a structure unlike any other, with court proceedings following specific protocols for interaction and authority resting with one individual. Vulnerable teens have the potential to experience an especially difficult time in the court setting, particularly transgender children and youth. These tips may help child welfare professionals, caregivers, judges, and court staff prepare and support transgender children and youth participating in court proceedings.

This resource list is designed to raise awareness and encourage tribal child welfare professionals to think through how to better support Two-Spirit and/or Native LGBTQ+ children and youth.

The Capacity Building Center for States has designed this toolkit to help States and territories meet the needs of LGBTQ children, youth, and families by providing links to knowledge- and skill-building resources, including articles, videos, tools, training curricula, tip sheets, information briefs, websites, and other products. The Center for States has divided the resources into five categories:

  1. Creating a Culturally Competent Environment
  2. Best Practices for Supporting LGBTQ Children, Youth, and Families
  3. Training Curricula
  4. Supportive and Affirming Organization List
  5. Studies, Information Briefs and Reports

HRC Foundation’s All Children-All Families provides educational resources, training and technical assistance on LGBTQ+ inclusion for child welfare systems. Since 2007, ACAF has been the go-to resource for agencies looking to truly welcome and affirm LGBTQ+ prospective parents and transform their service delivery for LGBTQ+ youth in out-of-home care.

A beginners’ guide to working with youth from the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children-All Families initiative. Research shows that LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in foster care and face an increased risk of both negative experiences and outcomes. They have a higher average number of placements; are more likely to report harassment, discrimination, and violence; experience higher rates of health and mental health challenges and lower self-esteem; and are less likely to achieve permanency. Child welfare systems must do better by ensuring that SOGIE is included in considerations of the best interests of children and youth and that all youth receive services free of discrimination based on SOGIE. This means developing the competency and infrastructure for working effectively with youth in ways that are inclusive and affirming for all.

A beginners’ guide to working with LGBTQ parents from the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children-All Families initiative. Despite recent progress toward legal and social equality for LGBTQ* Americans, a societal stigma remains strong and LGBTQ parents continue to experience barriers when engaging with child welfare systems. For example, in a recent HRC survey, child welfare professionals acknowledged that bias against LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents still exists.1 Nineteen percent of participants felt that straight/ heterosexual foster or adoptive parents are preferable to LGBQ parents. Similarly, nearly a quarter of respondents expressed a preference for cisgender (non-transgender) parents. Now — as some lawmakers work to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ adults seeking to foster or adopt — it is perhaps more important than ever for child welfare systems to take action to ensure LGBTQ adults receive the services they deserve free from discrimination.

This resource guide from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) was developed to help practitioners who work in a wide range of settings to understand the critical role of family acceptance and rejection in contributing to the health and well-being of adolescents who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. This includes practitioners who work in primary care, behavioral health, school-based services, family service agencies, homeless and runaway programs, and foster care and juvenile justice settings. Its intent is to help practitioners implement best practices in engaging and helping families and caregivers to support their LGBT children. 

People look to their faith as a source of guidance and inspiration – and LGBTQ people and our family and friends are no different. The HRC Religion and Faith Program is working to create a world where nobody is forced to choose between who they are, whom they love and what they believe.

People look to their faith as a source of guidance and inspiration – and LGBTQ people and our family and friends are no different. The HRC Religion and Faith Program is working to create a world where nobody is forced to choose between who they are, whom they love and what they believe.

The One Colorado Education Fund and the state’s leading education organizations have created resources for educators, parents and community members who are committed to addressing the pervasive problem of bullying and harassment in Colorado schools.

The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Network provides information and guidance on creating organizational and leadership structures for new and existing student clubs, developing effective coalitions, hosting successful events, and planning for sustainable Gay-Straight Alliances.

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