Child Welfare Work and Resources

The National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for LGBTQ2S Children and Youth in Foster Care (QIC-LGBTQ2S) was a program lead by The National SOGIE Center at Innovations Institute. The project was funded by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families’ Children’s Bureau to improve permanency, stability, and wellbeing for youth in foster care who identified as LGBTQ2S. To learn more about our work visit the Children’s Bureau’s website and watch the highlight video below!

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Programs for LGBTQ+ Young People, their Family & Caregivers, and the Child Welfare Workforce

Agencies serving children, youth, young adults, and their families should provide services that meet the unique needs of LGBTQ+ populations. Programs that are specific to the populations needs take into consideration the complexities of disclosing LGBTQ+ identities, the possible rejection from family and friends, and affirming medical care LGBTQ+ people need.

Over the course of 5 years, the SOGIE Center’s QIC-LGBTQ2S partnered with four Local Implementation Sites: Allegheny County, PA; Michigan, Cuyahoga County OH;, and Prince George’s County, MD. Together, the sites, program purveyors, and the QIC-LGBTQ2S developed, implemented, and evaluated several best practices and programs. The result of the five-year effort was the development and refinement of 9 manualized and evidence-informed interventions that can now be replicated in similar settings. Click on a program below to learn more!

Youth Programming

Family & Caregiver Programming

LGBTQ+ Data Collection in Child Welfare

This Implementation Guide presents the lessons learned from implementing the Asking About SOGIE (AAS) Pilot with youth in Michigan’s foster care system and provides recommendations for other agencies seeking to replicate the model for the children, youth, and families they support.

The overview of Michigan’s data collection process is available to download as a standalone infographic. This graphic provides a roadmap other child welfare agencies can follow as they pilot similar initiatives to collect sexual orientation and gender identity data from those involved in the child welfare system. 

The Cuyahoga Youth Count was an anonymous telephone survey conducted in fall of 2019 with youth (ages 12-21) in Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s foster care system. The survey was conducted by the National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for LGBTQ2S Children and Youth in Foster Care. 

Podcast Series: Collecting Data on SOGIE in Child Welfare

How can the child welfare system collect and use data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to ensure safe and affirming care for LGBTQ+ youth, caregivers, and family members? Join Angela Weeks, DBA, director of the SOGIE Center, and Elliott Hinkle, B.A., PSS, national young adult consultant at the Children’s Bureau’s Capacity Building Center for States. Download the flyer to learn more or browse the episodes below!

Collecting Data on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, & Expression in Child Welfare

In this first episode, Elliott Hinkle talks with Angela Weeks and Sonia Emerson, a consultant to the National SOGIE Center on racial equity, LGBTQ+ inclusion, and child welfare. They discuss what SOGIE data is and why it’s important, particularly to young people involved in the child welfare system.

Implementing Organizational Change

In this second episode, Angela Weeks talks with Jennifer Croessman, M.S.S.A., L.I.S.W., and Kori Sewell of the Department of Children and Family Services of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. They discuss the county’s efforts to safely and effectively collect SOGIE data from young people and lessons they learned along the way.

Storytelling With SOGIE Data

In this third episode, Angela Weeks talks with Shauna Hines-Lucadamo, M.A., and Ellen Kitzerow from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services. They describe their decade long process to collect SOGIE data and how they used data dashboards to help change the way their workforce thought about SOGIE data collection.

Moving Beyond Data Collection

In this fourth episode, Angela Weeks talks with Kamora Dawson, CNP, Lemon Pepper, and Jessie Fullenkamp, LMSW, of the Ruth Ellis Center. They discuss their statewide effort to collect SOGIE data with the Michigan Children’s Services Administration, how they grappled with confidentiality, and the top challenges staff identified.

Workforce Training and Organizational Change Initiatives in Child Welfare Systems

This comprehensive training prepares agency facilitators to train the evidence-informed All Children, All Families (ACAF) Training. Facilitators will learn how to deliver the ACAF training as well as facilitate difficult conversation and help dispel myths and stereotypes associated with LGBTQ+ people. Prospective facilitators begin by observing training as participants and then complete classroom instruction with ACAF Expert Trainers. Prospective facilitators conduct teach-back presentations and receive feedback from ACAF Expert Trainers to ensure a firm grasp of content and teaching methods. Following completion of full program and achievement of baseline fidelity levels, participants conduct co- trainings with expert trainers as a final step to full certification to deliver content to the organization’s specific training audience. Download the information sheet to learn more!

Building Safety for Youth and Families (Building Safety) is a training designed to increase the knowledge and skills of child welfare staff in recognizing and affirming young people’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression and to educate staff on making referrals to local LGBTQ+-specific programs.

The Building Safety implementation guide provides agencies with the information they need for replicating the Building Safety with LGBTQ+ Youth & their Caregivers in Child Welfare training. This guide outlines recommendations for creating and maintaining an implementation team, collaborating with state and local agencies if applicable, and providing ongoing support and quality improvement for facilitators and participants of the training.

This AFFIRM.Me guide documents the efforts, successes, and lessons learned that Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services experienced in implementing organizational change efforts within the county to better serve LGBTQ+ youth and their families. Cuyahoga County was successful in identifying LGBTQ+ youth in their care, which enabled them to provide those youth and their families with much-needed services around sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. 

This illustrated roadmap shows how Cuyahoga County implemented their systems transformation effort to better serve LGBTQ+ young people in their child welfare system. The roadmap contains important strategies for a phased training approach and strategic group coaching. These steps and more are discussed in detail in the AFFIRM.ME. Implementation Guide

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