Child Advocates of Silicon Valley

Helping LGBTQ Foster Youth

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2018

Helping LGBTQ Foster Youth 

 

August 25-26th marks the 44th year of Silicon Valley Pride, a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Child Advocates will have an Info booth at Pride to help spread the word about our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program and need  for more volunteers from our diverse community. Approximately 14% of our foster youth identify as LGBTQ, indicating that LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the dependency system (10% of the general population is estimated to be LGBTQ).  

 

Todd, a 13-year-old transitioning transgender foster youth, is currently receiving guidance and support from his CASA, Julia.  Their relationship is an example of the support that a CASA can provide to help an LGBTQ child find their voice, gain access to helpful resources and be comfortable with who they are.  

 

Todd’s family at home and his community at school are very supportive of his transition, which is not the reality that many trans youth face. “Todd’s situation is the opposite of many trans kids,” Julie remarks.  “I want to try and prepare him for situations where people might not be so accepting of who he is.”  

 

As a member of the LGBTQ community herself, Julia wants to make sure Todd is aware of and has access to LGBTQ resources.  “I’m always trying to find ways of helping him get connected to the community,” comments Julia. She has taken Todd to places such as The LGBTQ Youth Space and the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center.   

 

Julia has also found inspirational role models for Todd to meet. Todd has a love for sports and is an incredible athlete. He is a very active young boy and loves to be outdoors, shooting hoops, or throwing a ball around. Julia called around and found an LGBT athlete that Todd could play basketball with. It’s a moment Julia says was important for Todd involving his identity, being an athlete, and seeing someone in his community that is out and open 

 

“One of the most important roles that I have is helping Todd with his transition,” Julia remarks. Being a CASA is a fascinating role. There is power in meeting a child where they are and supporting who they are in every sense of the word.” 

 

To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer, please visit our volunteer page 

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