The Greatest Placement Needs in Foster Care | Getting Clear About Foster Care

Last updated: May 20, 2021, at 9:27 a.m. PT

Originally published: May 13, 2021, at 11:26 a.m. PT

Greatest Placement Needs in Foster Care

LGBTQIA+ youth are over-represented in the foster care system, sometimes due to family rejection, and lack affirming foster placements. Not only do LGBTQIA+ kids face the same trauma and loss when entering the foster care system, but they also face uncertainty and fear that their foster home may not be a safe place for them to live authentically.

There is a great need for more LGBTQIA+ affirming foster homes with skilled caregivers who can support youth in navigating the challenges and barriers faced by the LGBTQIA+ community.

“It is a huge deal for a kid entering a home to know there’s a queer person in the home; it makes a huge difference for a kid” Ashleigh, a Y foster parent shared. In her work at a youth shelter, she supported a lot of kids who were adopted when they were young by Christian families, and then were un-adopted as teenagers, some because of their SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression).

The Y is proud to license LGBTQIA+ families and is committed to supporting all youth in care. The Y is also committed to supporting foster families in creating inclusive homes for all children, since LGBTQIA+ youth are more likely to disclose their sexuality or gender identity to their peers and not to the adults in their life. Many families will never know they cared for an LGBTQIA+ child.

“It’s important for more LGBTQ+ families to become foster parents...and, it’s important that all families are affirming because LGBTQ+ kids are more likely to be in care themselves and they need families that can take really good care of them. It’s so often that I see referrals for trans kids and it’s got to be so much harder for that kiddo to find a placement where they feel safe.” - Angie and Jen Kamel, YMCA foster parents

Homes for teens in Foster Care are also in great need. Teens are not the largest percentage of kids in care, but they do face the most barriers to finding stable homes. The majority of licensed foster parents are interested in caring for younger children, and some teens find themselves staying the night in hotels or state offices because a home cannot be identified.

There is a critical need for more foster homes that have the skills, passion, and commitment to supporting young people impacted by trauma and providing stability, safety, and consistency in a teen’s or LGBTQIA+ youth’s life. Adults looking to provide a home to teens, and LBGTQIA+ adults becoming foster parents can help prevent homelessness, help kids thrive, and provide a sense of belonging.

Are you ready to take the next step in becoming a foster parent? Get started today or learn more about the needs, issues, and how to get involved in supporting, advocating for or becoming a Foster Parent. Take Action >