Foster youth who identify as LGBTQIA2S+ experience a multitude of unique challenges that their heterosexual and/or cisgender peers don’t. Caring and compassionate foster parents (like you!) can help alleviate the effects of these challenges.
FosterClub’s Discover Foster Parenting website aims to help you learn more about what it means to be a foster parent.
On the website, you’ll hear directly from former foster youth about what they want you to know before becoming a foster parent, including:
- Be open-minded
- We’re not perfect, and we don’t expect you to be either
- Validate our beliefs and accept us for who we are
- It’s going to take time–it might be hard for us to trust you and others at first
- Give us space if we need it
- Be authentic–ask questions and be transparent about what you don’t know
- It takes a village–what kind of community supports and resources can you offer queer foster youth?
Before you decide to foster queer youth, it helps to know what they might be going through. Consider researching and learning everything you can about the queer experience in care. For example, 78% of queer youth in care report being removed or running away from a placement because of the hostility they experienced there. Overwhelming and negative emotions due to feeling systematically rejected because of who they are might lead to challenging behaviors while they’re in your care. Knowing this ahead of time will help you empathize with them, and ultimately provide the affirming and positive experience they deserve.
Ready to take the next step? Check out the resources below to learn more about the queer experience in care, so you can be the best foster parent for LGBTQIA2S+ youth that you can be.