Call to Action!
This month, for San Francisco Pride, we are asking you to support Family Builders’ wonderful Pride and Joy Program. Pride and Joy recruits, trains, and supports permanent families for our LGBTQ youth in foster care.
Family Builders has been on the cutting edge of working with LGBT youth in foster care AND with LGBT parents for years. The organization recognizes the huge need for loving, supportive, accepting, permanent families for these young people. While all children and youth in foster care can be considered “at-risk”, LGBT youth are possibly the most “at-risk”. While 5-10% of the general population identify as LGBT, there is a disproportionate number of LGBT youth in foster care or on the streets. While no hard statistics state how many foster youth are LGBT, it is estimated that approximately 25% to 40% of homeless and runaway youth are LGBTQ.
Here is some startling information about LGBT youth in foster care that highlights why we must find permanent families for LGBT youth in foster care(thank you to the NCLR and Legal Services for Children for their resource, Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) Best Practice Guidelines: Serving LGBT Youth in Out-of-Home Care):
-66%of youth in foster care who identify as LGBTQ are there because of their sexual orientation or gender identity
-26% of LGBT youth are forced to leave their families of origin as a result of conflicts with their parents regarding their sexual orientation or gender identity.
-One study found that 78% of LGBTQ youth were removed or ran away from their foster placements as a result of hostility toward their sexual orientation or gender identity.
-Few foster care facilities have policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or provide training for staff on how to create safe and
welcoming environments for LGBTQ youth.
-Once in the foster care system, LGBTQ youth are often neglected and/or discriminated against by facility staff and peers due to inadequate policies, protections, support services and staff sensitivity.
-In one of the only studies of its kind, 100% of LGBTQ youth in New York City group homes reported that they were verbally harassed while at their group home and 70% reported physical violence due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
-56% of LGBTQ youth interviewed in a New York City study of LGBTQ youth in foster care spent time living on the streets because they felt "safer" there than they did living in their group or foster home.
All young people need love and acceptance; a safe place to live; and adults to guide them. Your gift this month in celebration of Pride will help Family Builders continue to find forever families for our LGBTQ youth. Please give today…