July 15, 2015
Rhode Island has added LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination language to the Children’s Bill of Rights for youth in care of the Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF):
“No child shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of such characteristics.”
“DCYF serves Rhode Island’s most vulnerable youth—including those who have been kicked out of their homes and those who are in the juvenile justice system. LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented in these populations,” says Vickie Henry, director of GLAD’s Youth Initiative. “This critical language will ensure that youth know they are protected from discrimination by law.”
The Children’s Bill of Rights is a document given to all children and youth who come into DCYF care to explain all the rights they have within the child welfare system.
Henry’s testimony submitted to the Rhode Island legislature in support of the added language can be read here.