Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people are in
America’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems in disproportionate numbers.
Like all young people in care, they have the right to be safe and protected. All too
often, however, they are misunderstood and mistreated, leading to an increased risk
of negative outcomes. This tool kit offers practical tips and information to ensure that
LGBTQ young people in care receive the support and services they deserve. Developed
in partnership by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and Lambda Legal, the
tool kit gives guidance on an array of issues affecting LGBTQ youth and the adults and
organizations who provide them with out-of-home care.
For an adoption to take place, the person available to be adopted must be placed in the home of a person or persons eligible to adopt.
All States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands have laws that specify the persons who are eligible to adopt and the persons who can be adopted.
In addition, all States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the territories have laws that designate the persons or entities that have the
authority to make adoptive placements.
The purpose of this handbook is to empower individuals with disabilities and their families and professional caregivers by providing information with which they can more effectively advocate for treatments, supports, services and the conditions that promote mental wellness. Individuals with the dual diagnoses of developmental disabilities and mental health disorders face multiple challenges in their daily lives.
Why is it important for teachers to know about adoption
Adoption can be a wonderful outcome for children who are not able to live with their birth parents. However, when adopted children join their new family, they bring life experiences that might include maltreatment and/or trauma. As a result, during the time leading into adoption and after the adoption is finalized, these children might exhibit some unique behaviors in the classroom. Therefore, it is important for educators to understand the reasons underlying the behaviors versus solely focusing on the behaviors.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth are overrepresented in the homeless
population. According to a growing body of research and study, a conservative estimate is
that one out of every five homeless youth (20 percent) is LGBT-identified. This is greatly disproportionate
to the estimated percentage of LGBT youth in the general population which is somewhere between 4 and 10 percent.1 Research indicates that each year, hundreds of thousands
of LGBT youth will experience homelessness. Most LGBT youth become homeless because of
family abuse, neglect, or conflict over their identity. Many homeless LGBT youth were kicked
out of their homes while others ran from foster and group homes because they were mistreated
More than 2.6 million children are being raised in the United States by grandparents, other relatives
and close family friends with no parent in the household. 1 These “grandfamilies” or “kinship
families” are families in which relatives or close family friends step up to raise children unexpectedly
because their parents cannot due to opioid or other substance use, mental health challenges,
incarceration, death or other issues. With increased immigration enforcement and children being
separated from their parents at the U.S. border, grandparents and other relatives are stepping up to
raise many of these children, too. The national data is compelling. Although we do not know how many
of these grandfamilies form as a result of a parent’s detainment or deportation, we do know that
approximately 21 percent of the 2.6 million children in grandfamilies – or 544,000 children – are living
in immigrant grandfamilies, meaning the child, he parent(s), and/or the kinship care provider(s)
There is a growing consensus that group care is not beneficial for children except in time-limited therapeutic settings to meet specific treatment needs.
Unfortunately, most communities lack a robust network of foster family homes. Given this reality, many child welfare agencies are redoubling their efforts to identify
and engage kin as foster parents.
Despite the strong value of kinship foster care, major impediments still exist to finding, engaging, and placing children with kin when they must be removed
from their parents’ care. Efforts must be made to help children maintain important family connections and support, and to tailor services and assistance to address
the unique needs of kinship foster families, while still working toward the goal of reunification with parents.
This wikiHow draws on wisdom from the field about the seven steps to creating a kin first culture – one in which child welfare systems consistently promote kinship
placement, help children in foster care maintain connections with their family, and tailor services and supports to the needs of kinship foster families.