Safety of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Homeless and Foster Youth

Safety of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Homeless and Foster Youth August 2007

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local legislatures, government agencies, and courts to adopt and implement laws, regulations, policies, and court rules that promote the safety, well-being, and permanent placement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth who are homeless or involved with the foster care system. These efforts should be based on the following guidelines:
1. Agencies providing housing or supportive services for youth who are homeless or in foster care, those placing youth in foster family homes, and courts should prohibit discrimination and be prohibited from discriminating based on a youth’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
2. Agencies providing housing or supportive services for youth who are homeless or in foster care, those placing youth in foster family homes, courts, attorneys, guardians ad litem, and court-appointed special advocates handling dependency or other legal cases involving the custody and care of youth should recognize the actual, and risk of, harm, violence, and harassment LGBTQ youth face in congregate care facilities and in-home placements and take steps to address and prevent this violence.
3. Agencies providing housing or supportive services for youth who are homeless or in foster care, those placing youth in foster family homes, and courts should conduct LGBTQ sensitivity training for all housing and supportive service staff, foster parents, and professionals handling dependency or other legal cases involving the custody and care of youth.
4. Agencies placing youth in foster family homes, courts, attorneys, guardians ad litem, and court-appointed special advocates handling dependency or other legal cases involving the custody and care of youth should take steps to ensure that LGBTQ youth remain safely and with healthy support in their homes of origin, where possible, and where it is not, that they are placed with LGBTQ-friendly foster families.

These represent only those ABA Policy Resolutions in which the Commission on Youth at Risk was the principal sponsor.

Advertisement