Posts Tagged: parenting

New LGBTQ Youth and Family Resources: Culturally-relevant information supports parents in caring for LGBTQ children and youth

Parents need resources to support LGBTQ children and youth in being affirmed, safe and celebrated in their homes, schools and communities. In our report, An Unavoidable System, Rise recommends expanding access to community-based programs that center the needs of families with LGBTQ children—without family policing system involvement.

Here, Rise talks with Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Family Acceptance Project based in San Francisco, California and Angela Weeks, Director of the National SOGIE Center at University of Maryland School of Social Work’s Institute for Innovation and Implementation. They discuss their new national website, the need to center parents and families in caring for LGBTQ youth, the impact of family accepting and rejecting behaviors on LGBTQ youth, examples of affirming behaviors by parents and how community-led resources can prevent family policing system involvement. 

‘On My Own’: I had to rebuild with my son without support.

in 2007 when I was 20 years old and he was one and a half. I had run away from foster care and had nowhere to live and no money for food. I was also dealing with depression and trauma—and an abusive partner. I didn’t have support from my family and felt uncared for and alone. 

The family friend lived in a cozy, nice home. She suggested that I leave my son with her and write a statement saying that he would live with her family temporarily, just until I got situated and had my own place. 

I did not want to be without him, but I wasn’t able to provide a home or food. A ball formed in my throat and I wanted to break down and cry, but I agreed to it. If I had access to food, housing, mental health care and emotional support, I would not have made that decision. I didn’t know that my son would end up living there for 10 years. 

‘Children’s Behavior Is a Communication’

Ana Rodriguez-Betancourt is a child-parent psychotherapist in New Jersey. We reached out to her because our children had gone through difficult experiences, from bullying, to witnessing domestic violence, to foster care. Our children also had been given diagnoses, like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

We wanted to better understand what was behind some of our children’s emotional and behavior struggles. We also wanted to know how to show them that we cared about their feelings while setting limits when their behavior wasn’t OK. Here’s how Rodriguez-Betancourt broke it down.

‘I Was Scared But I Stood Up for Myself’

Rise Contributors Melissa Landrau (left) and Mariya Kolesnichenko (right).

When CPS showed up at my door, they came in very aggressive. I had just lost my grandmother, who was my caretaker, and had gone through a break-up with my son’s father. Suddenly I was alone. My son and I ended up in a shelter, and I got a case called in for my son missing school. I was scared, confused and very overwhelmed but I stood … Read More