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SSWs Institute's Study Finds Overrepresentation of LGBTQ+ Youth in Midwest Foster Care System

The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in partnership with the Division of Children and Family Services in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, undertook a study to collect demographic data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression of youth in the County’s foster care program. The Institute undertook this study as a part of its work on The National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for LGBTQ2S Children and Youth in Foster Care (QIC-LGBTQ2S). The full results of this study can be found in The Cuyahoga Youth Count: A Report on LGBTQ+ Youth’s Experience in Foster Care.

This study is one of the first of its kind to be conducted in a Midwestern state, where available data on LGBTQ+ youth is extremely limited. It follows similar studies in New York City and Los Angeles showing equally high representation of youth with diverse SOGIE in foster care. Together these studies provide evidence that in the middle of the country, as well as in large urban areas, a greater proportion of LGBTQ+ youth are represented in foster care than in the general population.



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