Practice Skills for Working with LGBTQ Youth, Part I

Presenter: June Paul, MSW, APSW, PhD and Sarah Mountz, MSW, PhD

NASW-NYS Members: $30

NASW Other Chapter Member: $45

Non-Members: $60

This workshop is approved for 3.0 continuing education credit hour(s) for licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists.



Workshop Description

LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the child welfare system, making up 20% of youth in care. In many jurisdictions, the majority of LGBTQ youth in care are also youth of color. At the same time, LGBTQ youth in foster care are often invisible as a result of various interpersonal and structural forces that make the child welfare system reluctant to acknowledge and take accountability for LGBTQ youth.

These forces also make many child welfare involved LGBTQ youth reluctant to acknowledge their sexual orientation and/or gender identity to those responsible for their care. The end result is that many child welfare agencies and foster care placements struggle with providing supportive care, even when well intentioned, despite growing knowledge about best and most affirming practices with LGBTQ youth. Within this context, LGBTQ youth experience twice the average number of placements as non-LGBTQ youth, are three times as likely to be hospitalized for emotional reasons, face unique barriers to permanency and heightened obstacles upon transitioning from foster care, and report mistreatment while in the system from caregivers, workers, and peers. Transgender and nonbinary youth in foster care face additional challenges, including difficulty accessing gender affirming medical care, high levels of violence, lack of competency among workers, and formidable barriers in the areas of housing, education, and employment.

This workshop is the first of a two-part workshop offering practice-based knowledge and activities that facilitate the development of skills for affirming, intersectionally grounded, and anti-racist practice with child welfare involved LGBTQ youth. 

Learning Objectives

After the completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the experiences of child welfare involved LGBTQ youth from an intersectional and anti-racist framework.
  • Identify challenges facing child welfare involved LGBTQ youth and how these challenges create safety and permanency barriers.
  • Describe the correlations related to LGBTQ youth’s overrepresentation in the child welfare system, and their trajectories into and out of care, with particular attention to the co-occurrence of racial disproportionality in child welfare.
  • Develop LGBTQ affirming language and tools for use in their direct practice, including strategies for talking about sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) with youth and handling sensitive information.
  • Identify the basic tenets of culturally and trauma-informed practice with LGBTQ youth in the foster care system.

This workshop is approved for 3.0 continuing education credit hour(s).

NASW-NYS is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (Provider ID #0014), licensed mental health counselors (Provider ID #MHC-0053), and licensed marriage and family therapists. (Provider ID #MFT-0037).


June Paul is an Assistant Professor in the Social Work Department at Skidmore College with a lifelong career history of working to promote social and economic justice and advocating for individuals and communities living in oppressive contexts. Prior to returning to graduate school to obtain her Ph.D., June worked in the field of human services for nearly 17 years as a direct service practitioner, policy advisor, and statewide administrator in both public child welfare and education. Consequently, she brings a great deal of real-world knowledge and experience in practice, policy, and service-delivery to her teaching and scholarship. June received her MSW and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Her research examines public and community-based programs and policies for vulnerable children, youth, and families with an explicit focus on intersectionality and disproportionality among dimensions of race, class, sexual orientation and gender identity. Using a community-based approach, June investigates the origins, structures, and consequences of discrimination and social injustice in child welfare, juvenile justice, and other social service settings with a particular focus on advancing strategies for providing more equitable and effective care and services to sexual and/or gender minorities. Currently, June is conducting research that focuses on systems-involved youth that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) and writing a book that documents the experiences and perspectives of transgender youth of color as they transition from foster care to young adulthood.

Sarah Mountz is an assistant professor at University at Albany School of Social Welfare. Her research, teaching, and practice focus on the experiences of LGBTQ youth in child welfare and juvenile justice systems using an intersectional lens. Her most recent collaborative research project, From Our Perspectives, used a community based participatory research (CBPR) framework to explore the experiences of LGBTQ former foster youth in Los Angeles County through qualitative interviewing and photo voice methods. She is particularly interested in LGBTQ and other youth activism and organizing, and issues of educational access for current and former foster youth. Before becoming a faculty member, Sarah practiced in the child welfare system in New York City for several years, and was a caseworker in a congregate foster care facility for LGBTQ youth. Her work has been featured in peer reviewed journals such as Child Welfare, Affilia, Child and Youth Services, Journal of Public Child Welfare, Engaged Scholar Journal, Journal of the Society of Social Work and Research, as well as the Sage Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies, and Case studies for affirmative social work practice with LGBTQ+ individuals and communities.



Feb 05 2021


1:00 PM - 4:00 PM




Online Live Webinar