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Foster family acceptance: Understanding the role of foster family acceptance in the lives of LGBTQ youth
Year Published: 2016
Children and Youth Services Review
Issue: February 2016
LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system have received little attention in the areas of practice, policy, and research. The limited research available suggests that they encounter a number of disparities compared to straight youth. In this study, the authors examined the role that foster family acceptance plays in the lives of LGBTQ youth as they navigate the child welfare system. They compared the experiences of gay and lesbian foster care alumni who had accepting foster family experiences to those who had rejecting experiences. Key themes that emerged include acknowledgement of issues related to sexual orientation; responses to mistreatment; double standards regarding friendships, romantic relationships, and extracurricular interests; and the ideal foster family for a gay or lesbian teen. Findings suggest that foster family acceptance plays a pivotal role in creating an affirming and inclusive environment for LGBTQ youth. Modified Author Abstract.