April 30, 2015 – In observance of National Foster Care Month in May, FosterClub –the national network for young people in foster care – will launch the #FosterEquality movement to appeal for the safety and equal care of LGBTQ foster youth. All youth in the foster care system are faced with difficult circumstances and obstacles to overcome. These challenges are amplified when the youth identifies as LGBTQ.
“I was told that foster families ‘didn’t want a gay kid in their home,” recalled Kristopher, a FosterClub member who spent eight years in the foster care system. During his time in foster care, Kristopher bounced around to 20 different group homes and residential treatment centers where he endured emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
There are many factors that contribute to the LGBTQ foster youth struggle. Many LGBTQ youth face neglect or abuse from their families of origin because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, causing their entry in the child welfare system. What is more, nearly 80% of LGBTQ youth when placed in foster residences are then removed or run away because of hostility toward their gender identity or sexual orientation, according to the Urban Justice Center’s Justice for All report. Additionally, many foster youth, like Kristopher, are unjustly denied placements in family settings if they openly identify as LGBTQ.
During National Foster Care Month, FosterClub encourages everyone – not just members of the foster care community - to support efforts to provide LGBTQ foster youth with safe homes and healthy support networks. The #FosterEquality campaign is designed to build awareness, educate community members and ultimately mobilize action for safe and equal care for LGBTQ foster youth.
Information about the FosterClub #FosterEquality movement and stories from their LGBTQ youth can be found here...