Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–February 8, 2011. Yesterday the Center for American Progress released the report “Families Matter — New Research Calls for a Revolution in Public Policy for LGBT Children and Youth,” by Shannon Minter and Jeff Krehely, highlighting the importance of family in the lives and health of LGBT youth.
Dr. Caitlin Ryan and her team at the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University have generated a wealth of new data over the past decade on the impact of family acceptance and rejection on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, children and youth. The findings of this research are dramatic, clear, and, above all, surprisingly hopeful. They have profound implications for virtually every public policy issue affecting LGBT youth and their families, and call for a revolution in the way public and private agencies serve this population.
This report provides background information on the Family Acceptance Project and outlines how the project’s findings and a new family-based approach can help radically improve the way a wide range of social and public services respond to and serve LGBT youth. In particular, the brief discusses the project’s implications for the child welfare system, family courts, schools, and the juvenile justice system.
In the issue brief, authors Shannon Minter and Jeff Krehely maintain that The Family Acceptance Project’s approach to improving the lives of LGBT youth and their families is data driven and is informed by the experiences of ethnically, economically, and culturally diverse LGBT young people and their families. They also write that as the project has important implications for a wide range of policies and programs that support and serve LGBT youth, policymakers should learn more about the project and think of ways that its approach, materials, and findings can be incorporated into existing programs, services, and systems of care.
Jeff Krehely is the Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at American Progress.