LGBTQ2S+ 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 LGBTQ2S+, 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 LGBTQ2S+ 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 LGBTQ2S+ 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
“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
#FosterEquality is standing up for LGBTQ2S+ 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.
Check out these resources to learn more about the LGBTQ2S+ experience in foster care: