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