June also is Pride Month

June also is Pride Month

Spaulding is proud to be part of an LGBTQ+ Advocacy and Support Consortium for Southeast Michigan’s Child Welfare Agencies along with 20 private child placing agencies, the Ruth Ellis CenterMichigan Federation for Children and Families, a MDHHS BSC SOGIE consultant and MDHHS County Staff in from five Michigan counties.

The goal of the LGBTQ+ Advocacy and Support Consortium is to serve as a space for child welfare agencies to share resources, serve as thought partners to one another, and create more coordinated efforts to support LGBTQ+ youth and families involved in the child welfare system.

The consortium is a partnership between two agencies, Fostering Futures and Hands Across the Water, and was funded by the Hope Fund. Spaulding for Children offered a letter of support during the application process and are proud to be aligned with the goals of the consortium.

Spaulding has always supported and welcomed LGBTQ+ families to our agency. Our Child and Family Services staff members are trained in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression.  Our agency also seeks caregivers and foster families who are able to support LGBTQ+ youth.

From those experienced in the field, we know that LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented in the child welfare system, with as many as thirty percent of youth in foster care identifying as such (Children’s Bureau, 2021). In addition to being overrepresented, these youth are almost twice as likely to experience additional hardship due to high risk for many forms of maltreatment, including familial rejection, neglect, exploitation, general hostility, or denial of affirming care.

LGBTQ+ youth average a higher number of placements and placement disruptions than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts as well as a higher likelihood of entering congregate care. These facilities are often traumatic experiences, with a 2014 study from the Williams Institute finding that 100% of LGBTQ+ youth experience verbal harassment and other forms of violence in these environments (Cooper et al, 2014).