According to a recent study, more than 30% of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQ, compared to about 11% of the general youth population. This disparity is due in large part to the fact that for children, coming out to family members can lead to verbal and physical harassment, abuse and even full-on rejection, making them more likely than their non-LGBTQ peers to experience homelessness and/or end up in foster care. Once they are in foster care, these youth face all the same challenges and barriers their non-LGBTQ peers face, such as dealing with trauma, placement changes, falling behind in school, mental health challenges and more–but with the added layer of fear of further rejection, abuse and harassment if they are open about their LGBTQ identity.
With the goal of expanding the CASA network to better represent the demographics and experiences of youth in care, we created a new toolkit, including two new handouts, to help programs share the importance of spreading awareness of CASA and recruiting within the LGBTQ+ community. Also in the toolkit are resources and tips to help programs create a welcoming environment for all.
This double-sided, one-page handout is a recruitment piece designed to share with all communities, which highlights outcomes that youth in care who identify as LGBTQ+ experience, and how, as a CASA volunteer, someone can make a difference in the life of youth across Texas.
The rack card is a 3.75”w x 9”h condensed version of the handout. There’s two versions, one with a bleed for professional printers and one without for in-house printing and trimming.
Share this document with your board, stakeholders or anyone in the network or community to give them information and statistics on why expanding the diversity of the CASA network, and reaching and recruiting from new communities, is essential to the youth in care and to grow the number of volunteers across the state.
Creating a Welcoming & Inclusive Environment
While recruitment is important to help us reach our goal of diversifying our volunteer pool to better match the demographics of the children in care, it’s equally important that current and future advocates feel welcome and supported from the beginning. Read the article below for 15 tips on how to create a welcoming environment.
Benchmarks of LGBTQ+ Inclusion
All Children – All Families discusses seven main areas of inclusive policies and affirming practices that organizations should implement to best serve LGBTQ+ children, youth and families.
Building a Better Website
We often hear the phrase, “make it inclusive,” but what does that mean and how do you do it? Web developer, Jaymie Strecker, says, “In reality, being inclusive is about understanding your audience and making your site resonate with them.” Check out the article below to learn why having an inclusive website is important and 12 ways to update your website to get you started.
Using incorrect pronouns, or assuming someone’s pronouns, can be uncomfortable and hurtful. Learn how to create a safe space for people to share their pronouns and what do to if you do make a mistake.
Sample Interview Questions
Including interview questions with a focus on diversity can demonstrate to potential advocates that your organization is an ally to all communities. View a few sample questions that CASA programs in Texas are already using at the button below.
All Children – All Families Online Learning Center
All Children – All Families provides an incredible library of free webinars and other resources to enhance your knowledge of working with and recruiting in the LGBTQ+ community. A few we recommend are:
- Strategies for LGBTQ Community Engagement at Pride Festivals
- The Role of Allies in Creating LGBTQ-Inclusive Workplaces
- Taking a Collaborative Approach to LGBTQ Policy Creation & Implementation
Free Stock Images
Get free stock images depicting LGBTQ+ youth and adults at the links below.