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Study Aims & Findings

Study Aims

  • Accurately assess the proportion of youth who openly identify as LGB (lesbian, gay or bisexual) within child welfare systems nationwide
  • Describe the characteristics and risk factors for these youth
  • Determine if LGB system involved youth had different placement, stability and permanency outcomes than their non-LGB peers
  • Determine if LGB system involved youth had different health and mental health outcomes than their non-LGB peers
  • Synthesize this information to inform recommendations concerning how to best address the safety, permanency and mental health needs of LGB youth within child welfare system nationwide.

Key Findings

Overall our results show that approximately 15.5% of youth within child welfare identify as LGB, indicating that these youth are over-represented within the national child welfare population.  Of the total population of youth in child welfare identifying as LGB, 62 % of these youth are youth of color. In addition our results indicate that LGB youth in child welfare experience adverse mental health outcomes at much higher rates than their non-LGB peers, including clinical depression, clinically significant trauma and substance abuse.  A comprehensive report of our methodology, findings, and recommendations for system improvements can be accessed here (insert link to provider survey with picture of cover).