Affirming Placements

Caregiver Recruitment and Placement Selection

Finding appropriate and affirming placements for LGBT2SQ children and youth (e.g., foster, customary, kin, and group care placements) is critical for their safety and wellbeing. When LGBT2SQ children and youth are placed in settings that are not affirming, they are at greater risk of bullying and potential violence from their peers, and may face rejection or denial of their identity by their caregivers. Affirming placements, on the other hand, can help build a child or youth’s self-esteem, confidence, and self-advocacy, which all can assist with long-term positive outcomes. For Two-Spirit and LGBTQ Indigenous, Black, and racialized children and youth, culturally appropriate placements and facilitating connections with community members, mentors and cultural spaces that affirm and support their sexual and gender identities is critical to providing good care.

“Our agency needs to change its policies on gay/lesbian foster and adoptive homes. How are youth supposed to feel welcome when who they are isn't accepted?”
- Foster Parent


With the goal of finding affirming placements, child welfare professionals may consider the following questions, whether they know the child or youth’s identity or not:

RESOURCE: Information for caregivers on LGBT2SQ inclusiveness

  • In the All Children All Families section of the Human Rights Campaign website, there is a webinar for foster/adoptive families caring for LGBT2SQ youth, called Caring for LGBTQ Youth: An Introduction for Foster & Adoptive Parents(60-minutes).

    Available online at:
    http://www.hrc.org/resources/all-children-all-families-webinars


Families and caregivers can create and maintain open, safe, and inclusive homes through various strategies, such as:

Affirming Placements for Transgender and Gender Diverse Children and Youth

Transgender children and youth have distinct needs and often face multiple barriers and placement changes.74 Child welfare practitioners may wish to consider the following when recruiting caregivers and selecting placements for transgender children and youth:

“Sharing rooms is a common thing in the foster care system, which may be much more complicated for trans folks.”
-Youth


RESOURCES: Selecting affirming placements for transgender children and youth