banner of silhouetted children in many colors

Scoping Interdisciplinary Research and Action on LGBTQ+ Youth Inequities in the Child Welfare System

The YES Project works to map current research on the needs, issues and structures facing LGBTQ+ youth in the child welfare system, as well as to identify possibilities and challenges for future research, improved care and evidence-based advocacy to counter long-term structural drivers of the over-representation and disparate outcomes of LGBTQ+ youth, especially youth of color, and to ensure that LGBTQ+ youth have the material and emotional care to survive and thrive in natal or new family settings. 

illustration of five young people

We ground our analysis and recommendations in the importance and necessity of multidisciplinary collaboration and understanding across health, science, legal and human rights research and action. This work necessarily engages anti-racist and intersectional perspectives, as well as historical contextualization, across race, gender, sexuality, and poverty in understanding the child welfare system, its role and functioning, and its impacts, including the historical and present surveillance, control and separation of children and families — particularly Black families.

illustration of several young adults

We explore these questions within the broader context of child welfare system involvement, including structural overlap with the juvenile justice and adult criminal legal systems, with attention to the manner in which age, gender, sexuality and racial stereotypes shape multiple system involvement, as well as to how law, policy, and race and gender norms shape support and possibilities for natal, foster, and adoptive parents, including LGBTQ+ parents.