Every child is unique.
To truly advocate for a child, we must first understand that child.
Did you know that just 49% of Oregon foster care kids graduate from high school or receive a GED? CASA is working to change that, by supporting teens in care with their transition to adulthood.
Resources for Youth Transitioning to Adulthood: Online repository of resources as children age out of care.
Child welfare professionals often encounter children with disabilities in their cases. Children and youth with disabilities in the child welfare system face higher risks of exploitation and abuse due to a lack of access to appropriate services and supports. In these circumstances, it is critical to provide a comprehensive assessment to ensure the child’s needs are fully addressed, and that a safe and supportive environment is provided for their successful development. Employing a variety of proactive strategies, services, and supports, such as specialized assessments, therapies, and individualized education plans, can help professionals in the child welfare system meet the needs of this vulnerable population. Find resources to help address challenges children, youth, and families may face.
Empowered Services: Direct Service Provider for youth and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. https://empowered-services.org/
Children & Youth with Disabilities in the Child Welfare System: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/service-array/services-disabilities/youth/
LGBTQIA+ youth are overrepresented in foster care. Too many LGBTQ+ youth come out to family members only to face rejection, hatred, and violence. Those facing the most extreme levels of family rejection and maltreatment are often forced out of their homes, or will run away, becoming homeless or entering the foster care system.
In Oregon and nationwide, LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented in foster care; according to a study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, 30 percent of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQ+, compared to 11 percent of the general youth population. This is largely due to the fact that coming out to family members who are not accepting can lead to harassment, abuse and even rejection, making it more likely for these children than their non-LGBTQ+ peers to experience homelessness or end up in foster care.
Once in foster care, LGBTQ+ youth face even more difficulties. Not only are they less likely to find permanency, but they have a higher average number of foster placements, are more likely to be placed in congregate care settings, and experience higher rates of harassment, discrimination, and violence against them.
Ready to learn more? Expand your vocabulary with this list of LGBTQ+ Terms. You can also watch free educational webinars on LGBTQ+ advocacy topics at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Online Learning Archive.
The CDC’s LGBT Youth Resources webpage also provides an extensive list of resources on pronouns, gender identity, and ways to support and affirm LGBTQ+ youth.