The New York Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) commissioned a survey of the LGBTQAI+ youth in the New York City foster care system on their experiences and well-being compared to their peers who are not LGBTAI+. The report states that LGBTQAI+ “comprises persons who because of their gender and sexuality have specific needs and are treated differently than other persons, which might negatively affect their well-being. The letters stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, agender or asexual, and intersex.” Consistent with youth data outcomes for child welfare, the survey indicated that LGBTQAI+ youth are overrepresented in foster care and are more frequently youth of color.
Professor Theo Sandfort from Columbia University analyzed the survey results regarding the disparities and disproportionality of LGBTQAI+ youth in foster care in New York. In the report, Sandfort stated, “more than one in three youth aged 13 to 21 in New York identify as LGBTQAI+”. This percentage is higher than the proportion of LGBTQAI+ youth in the general population. According to the report, LGBTQAI+ children were also less satisfied with their placement in foster care than those who do not identify with the LGBTQAI+ population.
The survey concluded that for those who that identify as LGTBQIA+ in the foster care system, there were several differences between children who do not identify with this population. Some of the differences identified in the report were the characteristics of the placements the children received while in foster care. According to the report, LGBTQAI+ children tended to enter the foster care system at an older age; they had more placements rather than their peers who do not identify with the LGBTQAI+ population; had fewer family interactions while in their placement; and did not have the family support they needed to be successful. Along with not having family support, LGBTQAI+ youth are more likely to be homeless and have negative law enforcement interactions.
To read the report and learn more about the LGBTQAI+ population, you can click here.