New Toolkit Helps Providers Prepare Transgender Youth for Employment

A young person shakes hands with a potential employer.

You may have experience helping youth develop job skills, but are you familiar with the unique needs of transgender youth for employment preparation?

The Los Angeles LGBT Center recently published the Transgender Youth Employment Toolkit, created during the Transitions to Work (T2W) pilot project, a collaboration between the center and several other employment-focused programs in Los Angeles. The toolkit emerged from the experiences of 14 transgender youth who received wraparound employment services for nine months.

The toolkit provides caseworkers with practical tips for guiding transgender and gender non-conforming youth toward job success. Written in magazine style with bullets and sidebars, youth workers can quickly find valuable tips and best practices. Hyperlinks also connect readers to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s toolkit YouTube channel, where there are seven short videos covering topics such as case management tips and name and gender change.

Here is a preview of some of the toolkit’s sections:

  • Transitioning. Youth who are in the process of transitioning seek to align their physical appearance with their gender identity through dress and/or hormone replacement therapy. The guide offers suggestions for how staff can help young people navigate employment preparation during their transition, such as choosing work-appropriate clothing.
  • Working with employers. Transgender youth may find themselves in uncomfortable situations if their employer or co-workers are not educated about gender identity and the company’s non-discrimination policy. The guide provides a question and answer section that addresses caseworkers’ and employers’ most common concerns. For example, the Q&A discusses how to arrange for the placement of preferred names on security ID’s, and how company dress codes apply to transgender employees.
  • Supporting transgender individuals toward employment. This section provides tips and strategies for each step caseworkers and transgender clients will take through the job preparation and employment process. To help identify transgender-friendly employers, job seekers can use the list of indicators in the guide to determine how inclusive a potential workplace may be.

More on Transgender Youth

Research Roundup: Helping Transgender Youth Access Community Services

Ask NCFY: Meeting the Needs of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth

Bright Idea: Five Ways to Help Parents and Their Transgender Teens and Young Adults

Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.

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