Pride Month is celebrated every June to honor the history of the LGBTQIA2S+ community and to celebrate those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, intergender, asexual, and Two-Spirit. This month is a time to recognize the struggles and achievements of LGBTQIA2S+ individuals and to promote equality and acceptance.

The foster care system plays a crucial role in the lives of many LGBTQIA2S+ youth. Unfortunately, LGBTQIA2S+ children in foster care often face additional challenges, such as discrimination and lack of understanding from caregivers and peers. It's important for foster care providers to be educated about LGBTQIA2S+ issues and to create safe, supportive environments for these youth.

Organizations and advocates are working to improve the foster care system by training foster parents, social workers, and other professionals to be more inclusive and supportive. By addressing these issues, we can help ensure that all children in foster care, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, have the chance to thrive and feel accepted.

In an attempt to be more inclusive with our content and messaging regarding diverse orientations and identities, the Academy will begin using LGBTQIA2S+ in upcoming communications and curriculum.

Two adults holding a young child between them

There may be some inconsistencies for a while, but long term we want to improve our messages to be more inclusive. We want to be aware that the landscape of representation is ever-changing, and with June marking PRIDE it felt like an appropriate time to change.

The Academy owes thanks to our colleagues from MNClusive, DHS’s LGBTQIA2S+ employee resource group, for helping to guide this change. We also wanted to take some time to share important resources for LGBTQIA2S+ youth that can be accessed during Pride month and beyond.

  • The Bridge for Youth This organization has an LGBTQ2S support group called “So What if I Am?” for youth ages 10-14 in any stage of transition/coming out.
  • Transforming Families A Twin-Cities based support group for families of transgender and gender-diverse youth. Monthly meetings held via Zoom.
  • TIGERRS Social support group in Minnesota for transgender and gender-diverse youth
  • Gender Spectrum A resource for transgender and gender-diverse youth and families with several online groups.
  • Walk-in Counseling A Twin Cities Organization that provides free therapy, including free phone or Internet-based counseling.
  • Q Chat Space A bully-free online community of LGBTQ2S teens and trains staff from LGBTQIA2S+ centers around the country
  • Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth: A Guide for Foster Parents This factsheet was written for foster parents to help them learn about LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and other diverse identities and expressions, including Two-Spirit) youth in the child welfare system, the unique risks they face, and the important role that foster parents can play in reducing those risks.

As the month of Pride comes to an end, we recognize that pride is a part of the ongoing fight for equity and acceptance every day of the year. Allies in all spaces of child welfare and beyond play a crucial role in supporting the LGBTQIA2S+ community. By continuing to educate ourselves, speak up against discrimination, and create inclusive spaces year round, we will continue to build a future where every person regardless of their identity can thrive and live authentically.