LGBTQIA2S+ Resource Hub The Department of Children and Families (DCF) plays an integral role in ensuring the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and other identified LGBTQ+ youth in the state of Wisconsin, particularly those who are involved in or at risk of involvement in the child welfare system via child protective services and youth justice. National data indicates that LGBTQ+ youth are a large percentage of the out-of-home care population.* LGBTQ+ youth are at a heightened risk for family rejection, victimization, school bullying, sex trafficking, substance abuse, suicidality, hospitalization, and homelessness. These children deserve to receive affirming care and services that are necessary for their safety and well-being. DCF believes that an important part of improving outcomes for the LGBTQIA2S+ population is ensuring that youth, parents/caregivers, child welfare professionals, agencies, and service providers are connected to appropriate resources. The following resources provide a foundation for child welfare work with LGBTQIA2S+ children, youth, and family members. Children’s Bureau Memo. This Information Memorandum (IM) offers guidance to title IV-B and IV-E agencies when serving LGBTQI+ children and youth who are involved with the child welfare system DSP Issue Brief on Working with LGBTQ+ Youth and Families in Child Welfare DSP (Division of Safety and Permanence) guidance and support for best practice for child welfare professionals and care providers working with LGBTQ+ children and family members, focused on ensuring safety and well-being, fair and respectful treatment, and affirming practices. * Cook, M. & Cohen C. (2018). 20 Years of Advocating for LGBTQ Youth in Out-of-Home Care. American Bar Association. Definitions To ensure that child welfare professionals and care providers are well versed in terminology they may encounter while working with LGBTQIA2S+ individuals, the following definitions will be used to form a basis for common knowledge. These definitions, primarily taken from the website for The Human Rights Campaign, are meant to be a general overview of terms. Please understand that they are always evolving as we continue to learn. It is also important to have open communication with the youth and families that we serve about the pronouns and terms that work best for them. SOGIE: An acronym meaning sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. Gender Cisgender: A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth. Gender-Affirming Health Care: Individualized care provided by a medical professional or team of medical professionals that may include any or all of the following services: support services, mental health counseling, gender-affirming hormone therapy, hormone/puberty suppression, and gender affirmation surgery. Gender dysphoria: Clinically significant distress caused when a person’s assigned birth gender is not the same as the one with which they identify. Gender-expansive: A person with a wider, more flexible range of gender identity and/or expression than typically associated with the binary gender system. Often used as an umbrella term when referring to young people still exploring the possibilities of their gender expression and/or gender identity. Gender expansive people may identify as being both a man and a woman, somewhere in between, or as falling completely outside these categories. While many also identify as transgender, not all gender expansive people do. Gender expansive can also be used as an umbrella term that encompasses identities such as gender fluid. Gender expression: External appearance of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, body characteristics or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine. Gender-fluid: A person who does not identify with a single fixed gender or has a fluid or unfixed gender identity. Gender identity: One’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth. Gender non-conforming: A broad term referring to people who do not behave in a way that conforms to the traditional expectations of their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category. While many also identify as transgender, not all gender non-conforming people do. Gender transition/Transitioning: A process some transgender people undergo to match their gender identity more closely with their outward appearance to live more fully as their true gender. This can include social transition, such as changing name and pronouns, and changing clothes and other forms of gender expression to fit their gender identity. It may also include gender-affirming healthcare needs, which may include hormone therapy or gender affirming surgeries. Legal transition may include changing legal name and sex on government identity documents. Transgender people may choose to undergo some, all, or none of these processes. Intersex: Intersex people are born with a variety of differences in their sex traits and reproductive anatomy. There is a wide variety of difference among intersex variations, including differences in genitalia, chromosomes, gonads, internal sex organs, hormone production, hormone response, and/ or secondary sex traits. Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. Sexual Orientation: An inherent or immutable enduring emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction to other people. Note: an individual’s sexual orientation is independent of their gender identity. Asexual: Often called “ace” for short, asexual refers to a complete or partial lack of sexual attraction or lack of interest in sexual activity with others. Asexuality exists on a spectrum, and asexual people may experience no, little, or conditional sexual attraction. Bisexual: A person emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender, or gender identity though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree. Sometimes used interchangeably with pansexual. Gay: A person who is emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to members of the same gender. Men, women, and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves. Lesbian: A woman who is emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to other women. Women and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves. LGBTQIA2S+: An acronym used for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, two spirit, plus. Pansexual: Describes someone who has the potential for emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction to people of any gender though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree. Sometimes used interchangeably with bisexual. Outing: Exposing someone’s lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, gender expansive, intersex, asexual, or two spirit identity to others without their permission. Outing someone can have serious repercussions on employment, economic stability, personal safety or religious or family situations. Plus: This signifies all of the gender identities and sexual orientations that are not specifically covered Pronouns: This is a word used to describe another person. Examples include he, she, they, ze, etc. Some pronouns are considered feminine (she/her), some are masculine (he/him), and others are gender neutral (they, ze). Queer: A term people often use to express a spectrum of identities and orientations that are counter to the mainstream. Queer is often used as a catch-all to include many people, including those who do not identify as exclusively straight and/or folks who have non-binary or gender expansive identities. This term was previously used as a slur, but has been reclaimed by many parts of the LGBTQ+ movement. Questioning: This refers to individuals who may be unsure of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Sex assigned at birth: The sex, male, female, or intersex, that a doctor or midwife uses to describe a child at birth based on their external anatomy. Two-Spirit: While variety in terminology remains, the unifying term ‘Two-Spirit’ describes an individual who has both a male and female essence. Whether the person was assigned male or female at birth does not matter. The term also expresses traditional Indigenous understanding of a non-female, non-male gender. Two-Spirit individuals are not bound by gender roles, binary gender expression, or sexual orientation, and live according to a fluid and non-linear identity. Many Two-Spirit individuals feel that the term embodies all aspects of identity including sexuality, culture, gender, and spirituality. It also highlights how each part of identity is interrelated. Find more information in Celebrating Our Magic. Resources for Child Welfare Professionals, Agencies, and Providers The following resources may assist individual child welfare professions, child welfare agencies, out-of-home providers and other service providers to learn more about how to best serve individuals within the LBGTQIA2S+ community. Caring for LGBTQ Children & Youth: A Guide for Child Welfare Providers (HRC) Information on terminology and several basic, but key, tips on how to best support and care for LGBTQ children and youth. Child Welfare Information Gateway Resources to help families support their LGBTQ+ youth; understand what to expect; and learn how to talk about a number of issues that may be impacting their youth. Human Rights Campaign Tools for equality and inclusion of LGBTQ+ individuals in elections, legislation, parenting, health, and education. A Practitioner’s Resource Guide: Helping Families to Support Their LGBT Children For practitioners who work in primary care, behavioral health, school based services, family service agencies, homeless and runaway programs, and foster care and juvenile justice settings StopBullying.gov: LGBTQI+ Youth Information from various government agencies on bullying, cyberbullying, prevention, and response. World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Evidence-based resources for healthcare, social services, and education professionals. ChildWelfare.gov: Working with LGBTQ+ Youth and Families Resources from the federal government focused on working with LGBTQ+ youth and families. Youth.gov: LGBTQ Youth in Child Welfare Resources and information on supporting LGBTQ+ youth in the child welfare system. Safe & Respected – detailed recommendations for serving transgender youth Policy, best practices, and guidance for serving transgender and gender non-conforming children and youth involved in the child welfare, detention, and juvenile justice systems. Available Trainings All Children - All Families: Training Program Expert training, capacity building and coaching on a diverse range of LGBTQ+ topics for child welfare processionals and caregivers. Capacity Building Center for Tribes Walking in Two Worlds: Understanding the Two Spirit Native LGBTQ Community Defines the term Two-Spirit and provides an overview of the history and needs of Two-Spirit people. Supporting Two Spirit/Native LGBTQ+ Youth A two-part webinar series offering education on Native LGBTQ and Two-Spirit identities and how to create welcoming and supportive environments for youth in care. Child Welfare Agency Resources Casey Family Programs LGBTQ Programming Resources for child welfare agencies including a strategy brief, research reports, policy resources, practice tools, and more. Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) Recommended practices to promote the safety and well-being of LGBTQ youth and youth at risk of or living with HIV in child welfare settings. Safe Havens – Closing the Gap Between Recommended Practice and Reality for Transgender and Gender-Expansive Youth in Out-of-Home Care A guide for closing the gap between recommended practice and reality for transgender and gender-expansive youth in out-of-home care. Resources for Out-Of-Home Care Providers Children’s Bureau: Supporting Your LGBTQ Youth: A Guide for Foster Parents Information on understanding LGBTQ+ youth and the child welfare system and creating a welcoming home for youth. Info for Congregate Care Providers Working with Native American and Two-Spirit Youth Celebrating Our Magic: Resources for American Indian/Alaska Native Transgender and Two-Spirit Youth, Their Relatives and Families, and Their Healthcare Providers Toolkit for American Indian/Alaska Native transgender and Two-Spirit youth, their relatives and families, and their healthcare providers. Standards of Care for LGBTQI2-S American Indian/Alaska Native Youth Guidance around delivering strengths-based mental health services to LGBTQI2-S youth. Walking in Two Worlds: Supporting the Two-Spirit and Native LGBTQ Community Defines the term Two-Spirit and provides an overview of the history and needs of Two-Spirit people. Sharing Our Lived Experiences: 22 Tips for Caring for Two-Spirit and Native LGBTQ Youth in the Child Welfare System Tips to support child welfare workers, foster and adoptive parents, and caregivers in working with and caring for Two-Spirit and LGBTQ American Indian/Alaska Native children and youth involved with the child welfare system. These tips may also be helpful to tribal community members that wish to be allies to their young relatives. Creating Safe & Welcoming Spaces for Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ+ Youth Resources for tribal and state child welfare organizations and staff, tribal leaders, mental health professionals, foster families, and all community members to create safe and welcoming environments for Native youth that may identify as Two-Spirit and/or LGBTQ+. Family/Caregiver Resources The following resources may be helpful for family members and other caregivers seeking to support a child who identifies as LGBTQIA2S+. Child welfare professionals or other service providers may wish to share these resources directly with family and caregivers. Celebrating Our Magic: Resources for American Indian/Alaska Native Transgender and Two-Spirit Youth, Their Relatives and Families, and Their Healthcare Providers Toolkit for American Indian/Alaska Native transgender and Two-Spirit youth, their relatives and families, and their healthcare providers. Children’s Bureau: Supporting Your LGBTQ Youth: A Guide for Foster Parents Information on understanding LGBTQ+ youth and the child welfare system and creating a welcoming home for youth. Child Welfare Information Gateway Resources to help families support their LGBTQ+ youth; understand what to expect; and learn how to talk about a number of issues that may be impacting their youth. The Family Acceptance Project A research, intervention, education, and policy initiative organization. They focused on resources and tools to help families understand and accept their LGBTQ+ youth and family members. Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults A study conducted to evaluate the role of family acceptance as a protective factor for LGBT adolescents and young adults. Gay Parents to Be Resources and guidance for single adults and couples looking to become parents. PFLAG PFLAG is the first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families. Youth Resources The following resources may be helpful for children and youth who identify as LGBTQIA2S+ or who are learning about and exploring their gender identity and sexual orientation. Child welfare professionals or other service providers may wish to share these resources directly with children and youth they work with. Diverse and Resilient Resources for anti-violence, cultivating leaders, sexual health, and substance use. It Gets Better Video essays from LGBTQIA2S+ individuals and allies to support, uplift, and empower LGBTQ+ youth. imi Guides built for and with LGBTQ+ teens to help them explore their identity and support their mental health. Child Welfare Information Gateway: Resources for LGBTQ+ Youth in Out-of-Home Care Helps LGBTQ+ youth answer a variety of questions related to their out-of-home care experience. UW System LGBTQ Resources Provides resources for and acts as a liaison to campus centers and the staff and faculty that serve LGBTQ+ students at UW System universities and colleges. Trans Lifeline Offers direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community. Trevor Project Youth can reach out to a counselor if they’re struggling, find answers and information, and get the tools they need to help someone else. Medical Resources Children’s Gender Health Clinic Milwaukee-based gender health clinic providing medical, speech and language, social, and spiritual supports to children and adolescents. Gender Services, UW Health, Madison Madison-based gender services program providing affirming care and support for transgender, gender expansive and nonbinary adults and children. Bellin Health Ashwaubenon Brown County-based medical provider specializing in transgender hormone therapy and women’s health. Marshfield Clinic Health System Marathon County-based health provider specializing in genetic aspects of endocrine diseases and transgender health. Know Your Rights: LGBTQ Youth and Youth Living with HIV in Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems Native American and Two-Spirit Resources The following resources may be helpful for Native American children and youth who identify as LGBTQIA2S+ or who are learning about and exploring their gender identity and sexual orientation. Child welfare professionals or other service providers may wish to share these resources directly with children and youth they work with. Celebrating Our Magic: Resources for American Indian/Alaska Native Transgender and Two-Spirit Youth, Their Relatives and Families, and Their Healthcare Providers Toolkit for American Indian/Alaska Native transgender and Two-Spirit youth, their relatives and families, and their healthcare providers. Provides tools for youth, families, and providers as advocates. Indian Health Service Health Resources specifically tailored to the Native American LGBTQ and Two-Spirit Community. Walking in Two Worlds: Supporting the Two-Spirit and Native LGBTQ Community Defines the term Two-Spirit and provides an overview of the history and needs of Two-Spirit people. Health Care Resources The following resources may be helpful for family members and other caregivers seeking to support a child who identifies as LGBTQIA2S+ with their medical needs. Child welfare professionals or other service providers may wish to share these resources directly with families and caregivers. Wisconsin Children’s Gender Health Clinic MS B540 8915 W. Connell Avenue Milwaukee WI 53201 877-607-5280 Milwaukee-based gender health clinic providing medical, speech and language, social, and spiritual supports to children and adolescents Gender Services, UW Health, Madison Madison-based gender services program providing affirming care and support for transgender, gender expansive and nonbinary adults and children. Bellin Health Ashwaubenon 1630 Commanche Avenue Green Bay, WI 54313 920-430-4700 Brown County-based medical provider specializing in transgender hormone therapy and women’s health. Marshfield Clinic Health System 1000 N Oak Ave Marshfield, WI 54449 715-387-5087 Marathon County-based health provider specializing in genetic aspects of endocrine diseases and transgender health. National Fenway Health Primary care, reproductive health, behavioral health, and other specialized resources for LGBT patients. GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality—GMLA for Patients Guides for LGBTQ persons to open conversations with their health provider. HealthSherpa Find the most affordable health plan by comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies. Out2Enroll An initiative to connect LBGT people and families with health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. National Coalition for LGBTQ Health A coalition for improving health and well-being of LGBTQ individuals through federal and local advocacy, education, and research. National Center for Transgender Equality—Know Your Rights in Health Care Information on legal protections for individuals seeking transition-related health care. National LGBT Cancer Network Education, Training, and advocacy to improve the lives of LGBT cancer survivors. Indian Health Service Health Resources specifically tailored to the Native American LGBTQ and Two-Spirit Community. Wisconsin-Based LGBTQ Community Centers The following resources may be helpful for children and youth who identify as LGBTQIA2S+ who are looking for support from local LGBTQ Centers. Child welfare professionals or other service providers may wish to share these resources directly with children and youth they work with or their families or caregivers. The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection 230 Sixth Street South; La Crosse, WI 54601 (608) 784-0452 firstname.lastname@example.org LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin 1456 Junction Avenue; Racine, Wisconsin 53403 (262) 664-4100 email@example.com LGBT Community Center of the Chippewa Valley 505 S. Dewey St. Suite 204; Eau Claire, WI 54701 715-552-5428 Info@cvlgbt.org Milwaukee LGBT Community Center 315 W Court Street; Milwaukee, WI 53212 414-271-2656 firstname.lastname@example.org OutReach LGBT Community Center 2701 International Lane Ste 101; Madison, WI 53704 608-255-8582 email@example.com Data Resources The following resources provide more information about collecting data related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) and the results of studies/surveys related to LGBTQIA2S+ children and youth. Statistics Los Angeles Foster Youth Study 19.1% of youth in Los Angeles County foster care identify as LGBTQ Trevor Project 2022 Survey LGBTQ youth who live in a community that is accepting of LGBTQ people reported significantly lower rates of attempting suicide than those who do not. Data collection UCLA - Best Practices for Asking Questions to Identify Transgender and Other Gender Minority Respondents on Population-Based Surveys (GenIUSS) Assesses current practices in sex and gender-related population research and offers strategies for establishing consistent, scientifically rigorous procedures for gathering information relevant to the needs and experiences of transgender people and other gender minorities. Guidelines for Managing Information Related to the Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity and Expression of Children in Child Welfare Systems Proposes standards governing the management of information related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. SOGIE Human Rights Campaign Guide for effective, safe, and competent collection of SOGIE data. Appendices include sample forms and interview flow charts. Advocacy The following resources provide more information about LGBTQIA2S+ state-wide and national advocacy efforts. Fair Wisconsin An advocacy group protecting LGBTQ civil rights through lobbying, legislative advocacy, grassroots organizing, coalition building and electoral involvement. Family Acceptance Project A research, intervention, education and policy initiative to prevent health and mental health risks and to promote well-being for LGBTQ children and youth, including suicide, homelessness, drug use and HIV — in the context of their families, cultures and faith communities. GLSEN An American education organization working to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on SOGIE status and to prompt LGBT cultural inclusion and awareness in K-12 schools. GSAFE An advocacy organization focusing on creating just schools for LGBTQ+ youth in Wisconsin. The National Center for Transgender Equality An advocacy organization for changing policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. PFLAG The first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families. Sylvia Rivera Law Project A legal aid organization that serves low-income or people of color who are intersex, transgender and/or gender-expansive. DCF Contact For technical assistance and support, please contact the Division of Safety and Permanence Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee at DCFDSPEIAC@wisconsin.gov with the subject line LGBTQIA2S+ The links on this page are provided for informational purposes; they do not constitute an endorsement or approval by the Department of Children and Families of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.