April 30, 2024


Malkia Hutchinson, (202) 734-3548, mhutchinson@nclrights.org

National Center for Lesbian Rights Applauds Biden Administration Move to Ensure Safety for LGBTQI+ Children In Foster Care

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) applauds the Department of Health & Human Services for taking steps to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Our nation’s foster care system is rife with longstanding problems that are causing serious harm to families and foster youth. LGBTQI+ children and youth in the foster care system face even worse mistreatment by people paid to keep them safe and even worse outcomes after they exit the foster care system than non-LGBTQI+ youth. The rule issued today strikes an appropriate balance between respecting conscience and promoting the safety and well-being of children in foster care by ensuring that child welfare professionals and people who wish to provide homes for LGBTQI+ children will have the appropriate knowledge and skills to meet their needs. The rule requires states to ensure that children have access to appropriate resources and services, empowers children and youth to have a say in where they feel safe and supported, and protects them from outing and retaliation. 

Statement by Nesta N. Johnson, NCLR Family Law Attorney:

“The need to be loved, accepted, and supported is hardly unique to LGBTQI+ children, but unfortunately the system has proven uniquely unable to meet those children’s needs. We applaud HHS for clarifying that entities that take government money to provide homes for youth separated from their families are required to ensure that the children entrusted to them are not mistreated, harassed, or abused for any reason – including because they are LGBTQI+.”

Statement by Danielle (Danny) King, NCLR Senior Youth Policy Counsel:

“LGBTQI+ youth are disproportionately impacted by the child welfare system, making up almost a third of the youth in foster care in the U.S. However, across the country we have heard of too many times where LGBTQI+ foster youth have been in placements where they did not feel safe or faced discrimination. LGBTQI+ foster youth deserve to feel safe and supported, to receive services that address their specific needs, and to be able to raise concerns about their placements free from discrimination and retaliation. We applaud HHS for providing guidance to child welfare agencies and their contractors, to ensure that all foster youth can feel safe and protected.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and the LGBTQ community’s most vulnerable. www.nclrights.org