New course helps Licensing staff support LGBTQ+ youth
Children and youth in care who identify as LGBTQ+ face challenges that can affect their quality of life far beyond their experiences in the child welfare system. Because of this, it is especially important that DCYF Licensing Division Foster Care employees can assess providers’ and caregivers’ ability to provide a welcoming and affirming environment for LGBTQ+ children and youth.
“Developing Skills for Licensing Staff Assessing LGBTQ+ Awareness and Support” first takes you through an exercise that allows you to reflect on possible personal biases that may affect your evaluation of prospective caregivers, children and youth during the licensing process. You will then go through a learning around SOGIE/LGBTQ+ terminology and discuss how to talk to children, youth and providers about LGBTQ+ culture, a critical component of interviewing.
A key component of the course is the focus on being able to review and apply the laws and minimum licensing requirements around assessing a provider’s ability (not just willingness) to care and support children and youth who identify as LGBTQ+, as well as the provider’s level of knowledge pertaining to LGBTQ+ children and youth, and their interest in expanding that knowledge as needed. This learning includes defining welcoming and affirming environments. You will learn characteristics of those spaces, such as open conversations with children and youth, and talk about how to support caregivers in providing positive and affirming surroundings.
Finally, you will look at nondiscrimination-focused RCWs, WACs, and Policies, Practices and Procedures, and discuss how to apply them in licensing and investigations. You will have an opportunity to build skills formulating and applying questions based on current licensing standards and mandates.
At the close of the training, you will have a personal and professional action plan that outlines what you have studied and the steps you will take to best engage with, learn from and advocate for your clients.