Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health

National Workgroup to Address the Needs of Children and Youth Who Are LGBTQI2-S and Their Families

About the Workgroup

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, and Two-Spirit Learning Community logo

The Child, Adolescent and Family Branch (CAFB), Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has initiated the National Workgroup to Address the Needs of Children and Youth Who Are LGBTQI2-S and Their Families to support and enhance services for children and youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, or two-spirit (LGBTQI2-S). The workgroup includes a diverse and knowledgeable group of recognized experts and consumers including youth, family members, clinical and human service providers, program administrators, technical assistance providers, evaluators and researchers, cultural and linguistic competence experts, and CAFB and SAMHSA project officers and staff.

Workgroup members help identify specific strategies and interventions that can be applied within the system of care program, and throughout communities across the country. The workgroup helps to guide CAFB efforts to develop policies, programs, materials, and other products that help address the needs of the population of focus. The workgroup meets during conference calls, which are typically bimonthly, in addition to an annual in-person meeting.

The workgroup developed a logic model, which provides the workgroup’s population of focus, purpose, vision, mission, principles, challenges, objectives, and tasks.  The workgroup also now has a draft dashboard to facilitate its efforts, including planning and monitoring.

Download the Workgroup Logic Model (PDF)

Featured Resources

A Guide for Understanding, Supporting, and Affirming LGBTQI2-S Children, Youth, and Families
This guide, written by members of the National Workgroup, provides information for service providers, educators, allies, and community members who seek to support the health and well-being of children and youth who are LGBTQI2-S and their families. This guide can support efforts to promote full and affirming inclusion of LGBTQI2-S youth and families in communities and provider settings (e.g., child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, schools). The guide’s last page includes a place for organizations to add their endorsement electronically.  Both the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) have endorsed the guide.  You can access the guide with the NASP and NASW endorsements below.

Workgroup Updates

These National Workgroup updates offer you and your community a tool to stay informed about current issues and news from the field, new LGBTQI2-S resources, what the National Workgroup and its members are doing, and upcoming events. We disseminate a weekly update every Friday.

All National Workgroup Weekly Updates

The National Workgroup’s newsletter offers you and your community a tool to stay informed about what the Workgroup is doing, new LGBTQI2-S resources, and upcoming events. We will disseminate the newsletter four times annually.

Workgroup Activities

The workgroup continues to meet annually and guide CAFB efforts to develop policies, programs, materials, and other products that will help address the needs of children and youth who are LGBTQI2-S and their families who are receiving services from SAMHSA grantees. Current workgroup activities include developing an LGBTQI2-S "quick guide," a resource toolkit with more than 150 resources from various sources, and technical assistance supports (e.g., responding to community requests, conference presentations). Also, the workgroup’s social marketing activities include email updates with current news, events, and resources. These updates are available here.

Numerous workgroup members also contributed to a 2012 book, Improving Emotional and Behavioral Outcomes for LGBT Youth: A Guide for Professionals. The volume is co-edited by Sylvia Fisher, former Workgroup Chair; Jeffrey Poirier, Workgroup Coordinator, American Institutes for Research; and Gary Blau, CAFB Chief. This guide provides a road map to practices, interventions, and policies that will make a positive difference for LGBTQI2-S youth and their families. The guide includes 10 standards of care for serving LGBT youth and covers other topics such as cultural and linguistic competence, gender identity and expression, homelessness, resilience, schools, sexual identity development, social marketing, suicide-related and self-harming behavior, and two-spirit identity.

The workgroup recently held its sixth annual meeting. A memo summarizing this meeting will soon be available. You can view a summary of the fifth annual meeting held in August 2012 here.

Contact Information