Published November 16, 2020
Congratulations to PhD student Seventy Hall and his colleagues on publishing their article, "Working with transgender and nonbinary youth in the child welfare system," in Social Work and Health Care Practice with Transgender and Nonbinary Individuals and Communities.
Brandon-Friedman, R. A., Karnoski, R., & Hall, S. F. (2020). Working with transgender and nonbinary youth in the child welfare system. In S. K. Kattari, M. K. Kinney, L. Kattari, & N. E. Walls (Eds.), Social work and health care practice with transgender and nonbinary individuals and communities. New York: Routledge.
For transgender and nonbinary (TNB) youth, the child welfare system (CWS) is often an unfriendly environment. Many experience continued rejection, discrimination, harassment, and hostility from those who are tasked with protecting them. Working with these youth requires understanding their unique needs and targeted strategies to address concerns related to their gender identities and facilitate healthy development. This chapter begins by exploring the limited data available on the number of TNB youth in the CWS and their experiences within the CWS. Next, the chapter provides recommendations for policy changes to better address the unique needs of TNB youth, before outlining guidelines for working with TNB youth based on a synthesis of prior recommendations. The fourth component of the chapter consists of two case studies, one that explores the experiences of a transgender youth in a pre-adoptive placement and the other looking at a nonbinary youth living in a group home. Following this is a list of resources for professionals seeking additional information on working with TNB youth in the CWS. Through the provision of supportive services within an affirming environment, TNB youth in the CWS can grow and thrive, meeting the primary goals of the CWS.