Primary Sources: Guide to Effectively Serving LGBTQ Youth

Photograph of a young man.

"LGBTQ Youth Issues: A practical guide for youth workers serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth," Child Welfare League of America, 2010.

What it's about: This comprehensive, research-based resource on LGBTQ issues has concrete tips at the end of every chapter about what youth workers can do to engage and support LGBTQ youth.

Why read it: There are likely LGBTQ youth, and families affected by issues of gender identity or sexual orientation, in every youth serving agency across the country. But many youth work professionals don't have adequate knowledge about the needs of LGBTQ youth to address them effectively when those young people walk through the door in crisis. The discussion in this guide ranges from basic definitions to safety, mental health issues, and a chapter devoted to homeless LGBTQ youth. 

Biggest take away for youth workers: Meeting the needs of LGBTQ youth requires a complete organizational transformation, much like any other diversity effort. To create a welcoming climate, organizations can start by hiring staff from the LGBTQ community, training existing staff on working with LGBTQ populations, creating nondiscrimination policies and procedures, and designing a physical environment that values all people.   

Additional reference: Read NCFY's Exchange, “Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth with Open Arms."

(Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of NCFY, FYSB or the Administration for Children and Families. Go to the NCFY literature database for abstracts of this and other publications.)


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