Foster children disproportionately identify as LGBTQ

Written by
The Los Angeles LGBT Center

Los Angeles is home to the nation’s largest population of foster youth.

A new study out today from UCLA’s Williams Institute and the Los Angeles LGBT Center that finds gay youth are – in big numbers – over-represented in the foster care system.

Lorri L. Jean is the CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and says the study finds 1 in 5 youth in foster care is gay.

“They are the victims of discrimination and bigotry because of their sexual orientation and gender identity,” Jean said. “To me that is the only explanation for why our youth are so overrepresented among foster youth.”

According to the study, LGBT youth face greater challenges to finding loving, supportive homes than other foster youth and are twice as likely to report being treated poorly by the foster care system.

Jean says LA’s Department of Child and Family Services is currently working with local agencies like hers to develop a new a foster care model so that gay youth are treated properly.