Foster Care, LGBTQ Youth & Increased Suicide
Published on: May 26, 2021.
LGBTQ youth who had been in foster care had 3x greater odds
of reporting a past-year suicide attempt
About this Data Insights
In partnership with The Trevor Project, this new infographic explores the foster care system in the United States and shines a light on the unique challenges facing LGBTQ youth. LGBTQ youth and young adults, particularly transgender individuals and those of color, are at higher odds of being in the foster care system and face an increased risk of suicide. While the challenges are substantial, there are some clear solutions and strategies to support these children and youth, including improving access to LGBTQ-affirming health services and schools.
The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people.
Where do foster children live?: American Society for the Protective Care of Children, Get the Facts: Foster Care & Adoption
Age & gender data: U.S.Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, The AFCARS Report, Preliminary FY2019 Estimates as of June 23, 2020
Racial & ethnic data: The Annie E Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Center, Black Children Continue to Be Disproportionately Represented in Foster Care
Why are children in foster care?: American Society for the Protective Care of Children, Get the Facts: Foster Care & Adoption
LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in foster care: The Trevor Project, The Trevor Project Research Brief: LGBTQ Youth with a History of Foster Care, May 2021
How has the pandemic impacted the foster care system?
“Foster families worry for health, finances and kids getting lost in the system amid COVID-19,” USA Today
“Federal judge ‘concerned’ over high rate of COVID-19 among Texas foster children” The Dallas Morning News
“Foster Parents Needed As COVID-19 Pandemic Strains Families,” CBS Chicago
Solutions & strategies:
The Trevor Project, Research Brief: LGBTQ & Gender-Affirming Spaces
Promote diverse foster & adoptive families:
Cornell University, What does the scholarly research say about the well-being of children with gay or lesbian parents?
Child welfare training:
Child Welfare Information Gateway, Supporting Your LGBTQ Youth: A Guide for Foster Parents
Health care system:
Improve Access to Care & Continuity of Care: Font, SA, Gershoff, ET. Foster Care: How We Can, and Should, Do More for Maltreated Children. Soc Policy Rep. 2020; 33: 1– 40.
Improve Medical School Training: eQuality: Improving LGBT, GNC, and DSD Health Through a Comprehensive Medical School Training Program
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