June is LGBTQ+ Pride month, and at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, we’re looking at it as an important time to refocus on ways in which the LGBTQ+ community has been underserved for children in foster care.
There are More LGBTQ+ Youth in Foster Care Than in the General Population
Research has shown that LGBTQ+ youth in foster care are highly over-represented. In fact, the percentage of youth who identify as LGBTQ+ and are in foster care is much larger than the general youth population identifying as LGBTQ+.
These youth enter the foster care system in much the same way as non-LGBTQ+ youth do. However, many LGBTQ+ youth also have an additional layer of trauma that stems from being mistreated or rejected because of their sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity.
It’s common for LGBTQ+ youth in foster care to have experienced coming out to family members only to have faced rejection, hatred, and even violence. Unfortunately, many of these youth are forced out of their homes and must enter foster care.
SOS Illinois Provides Safety, Security, and Loving Homes for LGBTQ+ Youth
“Every child and youth who is unable to live with his or her parents is entitled to a safe, loving, and affirming foster care placement, irrespective of the young person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.” – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children, Youth, and Families
Supporting LGBTQ+ youth in foster care is especially important to SOS Children’s Villages Illinois. We believe that every child should live in an environment where they can heal, grow, and prosper, no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
The homes in our Villages are inclusive and diverse which allow for any youth entering them to feel loved, welcomed, and supported. Our on-site staff members at each Village view every child in our care the same – with the same opportunities, the same capabilities, and the same need for unconditional love. We strive to ensure that all youth at SOS Illinois feel and know that they are deeply cared for at all times.
LGBTQ+ Singles and Couples are Encouraged to Become Foster Parents
It’s not just our LGBTQ+ youth in foster care that SOS Illinois advocates inclusion for. Our full-time Foster Parents play a significant role for each of the children in our Villages, and we encourage LGBTQ+ singles and couples to consider the role of a professional Foster Parent with us.
As a Foster Parent at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, you will serve as the cornerstone of our model of care, providing hope and security to children who are in need of a loving, nurturing relationship created by a stable home life. From your support, the children in your care will gain a sense of security and confidence that will allow them to look forward to bright, happy futures.