Across the Country, Diverging Policies for LGBTQ Youth in Child Welfare System []


The ways in which states and their respective child welfare agencies support LGBTQ youth varies greatly, according to a state-by-state analysis and map of child welfare systems’ policies from Lambda Legal.

Some state agencies have explicit safeguards that protect youth from discrimination on the basis of sex or gender, while other states have none at all, according to the national organization that works to promote the civil rights of the LGBTQ community. The issue has grabbed attention recently, thanks to new legislation in some states that guarantees the rights of faith-based groups. For example, earlier this year, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3859, which permits faith-based organizations to withhold certain child-welfare services when there are “circumstances that conflict with the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The map classifies states into five major categories based on whether or not they have the following: no explicit child welfare-specific protections, only sex (or gender) protections, sexual orientation and gender protections, sexual orientation and gender identity protections or LGBTQ-specific policies.

[For more on this story by Stephanie Pham, go to]

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