HRC Foundation in partnership with FosterClub, a national network for youth in foster care, released an issue brief detailing the hostile treatment experienced by many LGBT and questioning youth in foster care, and the shocking lack of laws and policies protecting them. “Child welfare is built around the pillars of safety, permanency and well-being, and our job is to ensure that LGBTQ youth have the same opportunities and access to homes that provide all three,” said Ellen Kahn, director of the HRC Foundation’s Children, Youth and Families Program. “Safe and affirming families are key to LGBTQ youth succeeding and thriving. Through our extensive work with adoption and foster care agencies across the United States, we know that more and more agencies are looking for ways to do better by LGBTQ youth, who are disproportionately represented in foster care. It’s time for the system to do better for these youth.”
“It’s a sad reality that most of the stories we hear about how LGBTQ youth are treated in foster care are pretty grim, ” said Celeste Bodner, executive director of FosterClub. “Along with HRC, the young leaders of FosterClub recognize the urgent need to address the unequal treatment their LGBTQ peers face in foster care.”
Today’s call to action comes as the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance plans a morning hearing on reducing the nation’s reliance on foster care group homes, and as U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, prepares to reintroduce the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, legislation that would help open more safe and affirming foster and adoptive homes to LGBTQ children. U.S. Reps. John Lewis, D-GA, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL, will introduce a companion measure in the House.