Safety and Non-Discrimination

  • You have the right to safe and appropriate placements, free from discrimination or harassment based on your actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

This means you have the right:

  • To be open about your sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
  • To be identified by your chosen name and pronouns and to wear clothing consistent with your gender identity.
  • To be free from harassment and abuse based on your actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in foster care placements or state custody. This includes:
    • Protection from both physical and emotional harm in placements; and
    • Placement with caretakers who will ensure your safety and well-being both inside and outside the home.
  • To be free from religious indoctrination that condemns or disparages your sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Equal Treatment and Services

  • You have the right to equal treatment and to access appropriate services while in the child welfare system.

This means:

  • You must have access to appropriate medical or mental health care.
  • Medical care should not be conditioned on good behavior or withheld as a punishment.
  • You should not be forced to undergo improper or disreputable services damaging to your well-being, such as reparative or conversion therapy.
  • You should be treated equally to heterosexual and gender conforming youth, including with regard to age appropriate displays of affection.
  • You should have access to supportive materials and resources.
  • You are entitled to protection from physical, emotional or sexual abuse by other youth or facility staff.
  • You cannot be moved to a more restrictive facility or isolated as a response to harassment or violence against you.
  • You cannot be segregated or classified as a sex offender based on myths that LGBTQ youth will prey on other youth.