Too many LGBTQ youth come out to family members only to face rejection, hatred, and violence. Those facing the most extreme levels... are often forced out of their homes, or will run away, becoming homeless or entering the foster care system.
–THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
How Your Experience can Support LGBTQIA+ Youth
30% of youth in the foster care system identify as LGBTQ+; that’s THREE TIMES the overall LGBTQ+ youth population percentage. At CASA for Douglas County, we believe every child deserves a safe and loving home, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. That's why we're dedicated to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ youth. We recognize the unique challenges they face and understand the critical need for LGBTQIA+ Advocates who can provide understanding, empathy, and guidance.
Why LGBTQIA+ CASA Advocates Matter?
- Representation and Empowerment: LGBTQIA+ youth often struggle with feelings of isolation and discrimination. Having LGBTQIA+ Advocates and mentors can provide them with positive role models who understand their experiences firsthand. By being visible and proud of their own identities, these Advocates empower young individuals to embrace their true selves.
- Cultural Competence: LGBTQIA+ Advocates bring a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ youth. They are equipped with the knowledge and sensitivity necessary to navigate issues such as coming out, identity exploration, and the impact of discrimination. Their ability to relate to these experiences fosters trust and connection, allowing them to better support and guide LGBTQIA+ youth through their journey.
- Safe and Affirming Spaces: LGBTQIA+ Advocates create a safe and affirming space where youth can freely express themselves without fear of judgment or rejection. They ensure that the unique needs and concerns of LGBTQIA+ youth are met, creating an environment where young individuals can thrive and develop a positive sense of self-worth.
- Breaking Down Barriers: Discrimination and bias against LGBTQIA+ individuals still exist in many communities. LGBTQIA+ Advocates play a vital role in breaking down these barriers by challenging stereotypes and promoting acceptance and inclusion. By serving as advocates within the child welfare system, they help create a more equitable and understanding society for LGBTQIA+ youth.
- Comprehensive Support: LGBTQIA+ Advocates understand that being LGBTQIA+ is just one aspect of a young person's identity. They provide holistic support by addressing the multiple dimensions of a child's life, including their educational, emotional, and physical well-being. By offering guidance and resources, they help LGBTQIA+ youth build resilience and develop the skills needed to overcome challenges.
Join Our LGBTQIA+ CASA Advocate Team:
Are you passionate about making a difference in the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth? Join our CASA Advocate team and become a catalyst for change. By becoming a CASA Advocate, you will:
- ADVOCATE for LGBTQIA+ youth within the child welfare system, ensuring their voices are heard and their rights protected
- SUPPORT them through tough moments and challenging experiences
- SUGGEST safe and affirming foster placements
- MAKE sure their physical and mental health assessments are completed and any healthcare needs are understood and met
- ESTABLISH supportive connections, including family, friends, and community organizations
- INCREASE their sense of safety and belonging by recognizing their whole self and validating their experiences
- VERIFY educational supports are in place.
- WORK collaboratively with professionals, caregivers, and community organizations to create a network of support
- EMPOWER LGBTQIA+ youth to embrace their identities, build self-confidence, and achieve their full potential
- HELP create a more inclusive and accepting society for LGBTQIA+ individuals by challenging biases and promoting understanding
JOIN CASA for Douglas County to amplify an LGBTQIA+ voice in the child welfare system.
Join us in making a lasting impact on the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth. Together, we can create a brighter and more inclusive future for all. Learn more about becoming a CASA Advocate!