Training

Child protection workers, families, caregivers, and youth from across Ontario have identified the need for training throughout the child welfare system on providing LGBT2SQ-affirming and inclusive services and organizations.

Research suggests that comprehensive LGBT2SQspecific training for board members, staff, volunteers, families, and caregivers is a best practice to better serve LGBT2SQ children and youth. To sustain the benefits of training, individuals should also be made aware of resources they can access in their day-today work with respect to serving LGBT2SQ children and youth.

In 2015, only 10% of society staff surveyed had received training on how to support families struggling to accept their LGBT2SQ child or youth.

MCYS Survey


Training that is multi-levelled (from introductory to advanced), ongoing, inclusive of LGBT2SQ children and youth voices, and integrated into an organization’s general training requirements, is most effective. Some child welfare leaders have also emphasized the need for mandatory LGBT2SQ training. Regular evaluation and updating of training is also essential.

Some of the topics that may be addressed in training include:

Child welfare organizations can engage with community partners and organizations to provide outside training and expertise on LGBT2SQ children and youth (e.g., PFLAG, Native Youth Sexual Health Network, Rainbow Health Ontario). They can also utilize existing training, such as Out and Proud,xi designed by the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto for the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, to increase the capacity of child welfare organizations to serve LGBT2SQ children and youth. While some agencies will not have such organizations in their communities, they can make use of online and social network supports such as those available at: positivespaces.ca. The site offers community links to counsellors who serve LGBT2SQ newcomers, toolkit manuals, and referrals which assist in making any agency a positive space.

“Unless workers are trained to support the youth, address him/her/them with respect, make the environment LGBT2SQ positive, they will not be successful in connecting and addressing the youth's needs.”

- CAS Staff


xi Further information on Out and Proud designed by the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto for the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies is available at: http://www.torontocas.ca/out-and-proud.