This month, Fairfax CASA is commemorating the ongoing pursuit of equality and justice for the LGBTQ community – and most importantly – standing in solidarity with the LGBTQ youth we serve. Catalyzed by the events of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, Pride Month is a time to reflect on the history of the LGBTQ community and recommit ourselves to becoming better allies for the LGBTQ youth we work with each day.
Why Pride Month is important to CASA
Compared to their cisgender and heterosexual peers, LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the child welfare system. According to Youth.Gov, while these youth do enter the child welfare system due to similar trauma as their peers including neglect or abuse, LGBTQ youth in conflict with their families due to their sexual or gender orientation are 26% more likely to be forced from their homes. In addition, LGBTQ youth are 30% more likely to experience physical violence at the hands of their families. When removed and placed in the foster care system, LGBTQ youth are more likely to:
- Experience physical/verbal/emotional abuse in their foster homes
- Have their foster care placement disrupted due to foster parents not wanting an LGBTQ youth in their home
- To leave the foster care system without a permanent family.
These experiences and outcomes for LGBTQ youth actively contribute to the injustices their community faces in society. It is up to us, as allies, to work towards changing these narratives for our youth.
How we can better support LGBTQ Youth
At Fairfax CASA, we honor our commitment to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation of ensuring child victims of abuse and neglect have the opportunity to grow up in safe and nurturing homes where they can reach their full potential. We believe every child deserves dignity, respect, and love. To best support the LGBTQ children we serve, here are some steps we can take together to ensure a more equitable and just future for all:
- Respect the identities of LGBTQ youth
- Educate ourselves to better support the unique needs and challenges LGBTQ youth face
- Reassure the LGBTQ youth in our lives that they are loved and supported by actively being an open-minded listener.
This month, we look forward to learning and growing as allies, standing up for justice and equality, and working towards positive outcomes and better lives for all LGBTQ youth in our community!