Los Angeles LGBT Center Commends L.A. County Board of Supervisors' Passage of Breakthrough Motion Supporting LGBTQ+ Foster Youth - Los Angeles LGBT Center

Los Angeles LGBT Center Commends L.A. County Board of Supervisors' Passage of Breakthrough Motion Supporting LGBTQ+ Foster Youth

September 24, 2019
Contact: Gil Diaz

The Los Angeles LGBT Center commends today’s unanimous passage by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors of a breakthrough motion that supports Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ+) youth in the County’s foster care system. Authored by supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl, the motion—Responding to the Immediate Need to Support Foster Youth Who Identify as LGBTQ+—calls for programs and services that minimize family rejection; dedicated programs and support services for LGBTQ+ foster youth; and the implementation of culturally competent trainings and support for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Department of Probation specific to the needs of LGBTQ+ foster youth.

“For nearly 15 years, we have been advocating for dedicated programs, services, and funding for LGBTQ+ youth in L.A.’s foster care system. LGBTQ+ youth, who comprise 20 percent of the youth in our county’s care, desperately need such programs and services. We are relieved that the Board has now put into motion tangible steps to address the disparities our youth in foster care experience. For too long, LGBTQ+ youth in the county’s foster care system have languished without adequate resources. For many, support comes too late,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “This motion mandates that county departments heads take ownership of this issue and finally begin to address the systemic injustice our youth experience. We are encouraged by this step and will continue to advocate for the well being and success of LGBTQ+ youth.”

According to the Center’s RISE Program study, conducted by the Williams Institute, LGBTQ+ youth are significantly overrepresented in the Los Angeles foster care system. Approximately 19 percent of foster youth in Los Angeles County are LGBTQ, which is about 1.5 to 2 times their numbers in the general population. Of this number, 11 percent identify as gender nonconforming and 5 percent as transgender. Nearly 13 percent report being treated poorly while in the foster care system, compared to less than 6 percent of non-LGBTQ foster youth. A recent paper in the journal Pediatrics suggests the number of LGBTQ youth in foster care in California exceeds 30 percent.

LGBTQ+ youth have long been considered an invisible population in systems of care. Since developing the RISE Program nearly a decade ago, the Center has continued to provide direct services to local youth, their caregivers in the foster care system, and the providers who serve them using the intervention developed under the federal grant. RISE has also continued to provide capacity building support to hundreds of public and private agencies at a local, state, and national level as the only federally evaluated, evidence-informed program of its kind.

We encourage LGBTQ+ youth in systems of care, and the providers who serve them, to learn more about our dedicated services here.

About the Los Angeles LGBT Center

Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center's nearly 800 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. We are an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org.

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