Lambda Legal, in collaboration with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), today announced two projects to build the capacity, awareness and skills of social workers and other child welfare professionals serving LGBTQ youth living out of home in foster care, juvenile justice centers, and homeless shelters.
“‘LGBTQ youth are over-represented in out-of-home care facilities,” said Flor Bermundez Staff Attorney with Lambda Legal’s Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project. “It is essential that social workers and practitioners are trained in how best to serve them.”
Through a $275,000 grant secured by Lambda Legal from the Out-of-Home Youth Fund of the Tides Foundation NASW will launch a national train-the-trainer initiative, and CSWE, the national accreditation organization for schools of social work, will review best practices and diversity curricula at schools of social work nationwide.
The NASW project will train 40 master trainers throughout the country who have met the application requirement and who agree to train 40 more out-of-home care practitioners, resulting in a total of at least 1,600 service providers who will be better able to meet the needs of LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care. More information on the master trainer program will be posted at socialworkers.org and lambdalegal.org.
“Social workers play a significant role in the care that LGBTQ youth receive and it is imperative that we are sensitive to their needs,” said Dr. Elizabeth Clark, president of the NASW Foundation. “This program reflects the profession’s commitment to children and families and LGBTQ issues.”
The CSWE project will engage schools of social work by helping them focus constructively on LGBTQ issues as they complete the best practices survey. After the data has been collected, CSWE will help encourage schools to adopt the best practices identified through the research. CSWE’s Commission for Diversity and Social and Economic Justice and Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression will analyze the data collected.
“This survey will provide a more comprehensive picture of how social work students are currently being prepared to serve the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community,” said CSWE Executive Director Julia M. Watkins. “CSWE looks forward to collaborating with Lambda Legal to identify more valuable curricula and resources for our profession’s future.”
Article adapted by ProudParenting.com from original press release.