Youth in Out-of-Home Care Publications

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LBGT people and people living with HIV.

Our youth in out-of-home care publications are available online to view and download.

You can also order hard copies of resources currently in print.

Getting Down to Basics:
Tools to Support LGBTQ Youth in Care (2013)

Developed in partnership with the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), this tool kit offers practical information on helping ensure that LGBTQ youth in care receive the support and services they deserve. It is concise and accessible and serves as an ideal starting point for administrators and practitioners unfamiliar with LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care issues.

Specific target audiences include: caseworkers; attorneys, guardians ad litem, and advocates; congregate care providers; juvenile justice professionals; faith-based providers; LGBTQ youth; and families supporting an LGBTQ youth. Sub-topics include (but are not limited to): working with transgender youth; working with homeless LGBTQ youth; LGBTQ youth risk data; recommendations for training and education; combating misguided efforts to ban lesbian and gay adults as foster and adoptive parents; and basic facts about being LGBTQ. Select information sheets are available in Spanish.

Recommended Practices To Promote the Safety and Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth and Youth at Risk of or Living with HIV in Child Welfare Settings (2012)

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and a coalition of child welfare advocates and experts have joined to issue "Recommended Practices to Promote the Safety and Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth and Youth at Risk of or Living with HIV in Child Welfare Settings." The Recommended Practices offer guidance to state and local child welfare agencies to ensure safe, appropriate care in the best interests of LGBTQ children in the child welfare system.

The "Recommended Practices" provides examples in a range of areas, including: policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and HIV status; services that address family rejection; safe placement with foster or adoptive parents; access to appropriate medical and mental health care services for LGBTQ youth and youth at risk of or living with HIV; and recommendations to support transgender and gender-nonconforming youth. The recommended practices also encourage child welfare systems to collect data to quantify outcomes for LGBTQ youth in care.

Moving the Margins:
Curriculum for Child Welfare Services with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth in Out-of-Home Care (2009)

Developed in partnership with the National Association of Social workers, this manual provides trainers with a guide for implementing trainings for service providers working with LGBTQ youth in the foster care, juvenile justice and homeless systems of care. It includes modules on areas such as: vocabulary; values clarification; the risks, challenges and strengths specific to LGBTQ youth and their caregivers; managing confidential information; enhancing skills to intervene with biological, adoptive and foster parents; addressing differential treatment in child welfare agencies; and addressing the needs of transgender youth. Download Moving the Margins

Moving the Margins PowerPoint Training Tool (2009)
This PowerPoint can be used with trainings based on the curriculum: Download the PowerPoint.

National Recommended Best Practices for Serving LGBT Homeless Youth (2009)

This policy brief by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Lambda Legal, the National Network for Youth, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights provides a brief overview of homelessness among LBGT youth. It makes recommendations about improving practice, improving organizational culture, and improving residential services.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Education:
Results from a National Survey (2009)

This report from Lambda Legal and the Council on Social Work Education features the results of a study to determine the level of preparation for social work students to serve LGBT individuals and LGBT youth in out-of-home care. This survey of more than 600 social work programs revealed that program directors need more resources to increase their knowledge on sexual orientation and gender expression and to further infuse content on LGBT individuals and youth throughout curricular areas. The report includes recommendations that social work schools can adopt to better prepare the next generation of child welfare advocates and other service providers to meet the needs of LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care and LGBT communities more generally. Download the Executive Summary. Download the Full Report.

Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project

Poster (2007)
Developed in partnership with CWLA, these colorful posters (8.5 x 11) are used by youth-serving organizations to convey that they provide safe spaces for LGBTQ youth. (Available in Spanish and English)

Postcard (2007)
The postcard (4 x 6) is a smaller version of the poster. (Available in Spanish and English)

Out of the Margins:
A Report on Regional Listening Forums Highlighting the Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth in Care (2006)

The CWLA/Lambda Regional Listening Forums provided an opportunity for LGBTQ youth in care, and the adults who work with and care for them, to share their experiences and work together to identify strategies for bringing about lasting change in the child welfare system.

Out of the Margins, a joint publication with CLWA, consolidates the responses of the more than 500 youth and adults who participated. It highlights their personal stories and includes their suggestions for building the capacity of the child welfare system to better meet the needs of LGBTQ young people in care.

Know Your Rights: LGBTQ Youth and Youth Living with HIV in Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems

Youth in foster care and juvenile justice systems who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) or living with HIV have basic rights.

Download the Know Your Rights fact sheet

Youth in the Margins:
A Report on the Unmet Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adolescents in Foster Care (2001)

This report urges foster care systems and agencies to take crucial remedial steps to serve their LGBTQ clients. It includes background on the unaddressed needs of LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care and basic measures for reform. It also includes state-by-state findings and recommendations based on a survey of LGBT-related foster care policies and services in fourteen states. Download Youth in the Margins
Out of print. The PDF is version available online.


Other Youth Related Publications

Out, Safe & Respected: Your Rights At School

This kit from Lambda Legal’s Youth in Schools Project is designed to help youth know their rights at school and make sure they’re respected, and to give youth concrete ideas about how they can make a difference in their schools and communities. Youth have the right to be out, safe and respected at school. View online

Price: $2.37/copy for each copy after the first 25 ordered

Out, Safe & Respected: A Guide to LGBTQ Youth in Schools for Educators and Parents

This booklet is designed to help parents and educators develop safe, nurturing school environments for lesbian, gay, bixexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students. View online

Price: $2.37/copy for each copy after the first 25 ordered

Bending the Mold: An Action Kit for Transgender Students

This kit from Lambda Legal’s Youth in Schools Project is designed to help youth make their school a safer place for transgender students. Included are ideas and information to help youth advocate for change. There’s also an extensive list of resources to help youth connect with the transgender community and find support. View online

Price: $1.74/copy for each copy after the first 25 ordered

Gramercy Stories

This documentary (52 minutes) from filmmakers and Lambda Legal friends Joyce Chopra and Susan Monserud offers an inspiring look inside a group home in Manhattan providing a safe haven for 25 LGBT teenagers. Told from their candid perspective, the film follows these courageous youth as they strive to overcome obstacles on the path to adulthood.

Joyce Chopra: Director, Producer, Editor and Susan Monserud: Producer. For more information about Gramercy Stories, please visit: