Sexual and Gender Minority Youth in Foster Care

The study “Sexual and Gender Minority Youth in Los Angeles County Foster Care: Assessing Disproportionately and Disparities” found that one in five (1,400) foster youth in Los Angeles County, identify as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning). This was the first population-based survey to measure sexual orientation and gender identity of youth in any foster care system. Los Angeles County has the nation’s largest population of foster youth.

Key findings:

  • 19 percent of foster youth identify as LGBTQ. That is as much as that’s as twice the estimated percentage of youth not in foster care who are LGBTQ.
  • Over 86 percent of the youth identified were Latino, Black, or Asian Pacific islander.
  • More than 18 percent of all respondents reported experiencing discrimination related to their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
  • LGBTQ youth are more than twice as likely to live in a group home.
  • LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to report being treated poorly by the foster care system.
  • The percentage of LGBTQ youth who were hospitalized for emotional reasons (13.5 percent) was nearly triple the percentage of similar hospitalizations for non-LGBTQ youth (4.2 percent), but physical reasons for hospitalization were reported less often.

Click here for the full report.

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