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Queer youth are overrepresented in the foster care system and twice as likely to report poor treatment while in care. Almost 30% of foster youth identify as LGBTQIA2S+, compared to 10% in the general population. The overrepresentation in care is likely due to familial rejection because of their queer identities, and can result in serious negative life outcomes and a fear of being who they really are.

Rejection of LGBTQIA2S+ identities isn’t just within the family–it also shows up in the foster care system as discrimination and poorly trained support teams.

Systemic discrimination and rejection causes queer foster youth to experience higher than average:

  • Numbers of foster care placements
  • Placements in group homes/congregate care
  • Rates of runaways, which can result in homelessness or sex trafficking
  • Mental health challenges like depression, PSTD and substance misuse
  • Likelihood of aging out of care 
  • Isolation from peers
  • Incidences of harassment and violence

#FosterEquality is standing up for queer foster youth because no one deserves to be rejected because of who they are. We’re asking that you stand with us–together we can create a foster care system that affirms all youth, just as they are.

“Sometimes life gives you a bad hand… My story may not be happy, or easy by any means.. but like I said, sometimes you have to sit down and just play the game. It’s now my turn to deal.” –FosterClub LEx leader

Check out these resources to learn more about the queer experience in foster care:

Jan 17, 2023 By AbbyShuler