Washington, DC — The “Every Child Deserves a Family Act” was introduced today with bipartisan support. This legislation would prohibit federally funded child welfare service providers from discriminating against children, families, and individuals based on religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status, and would protect LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.
“Given the undeniable crisis in our foster care system today, where too many children age out without finding their forever home and LGBTQ youth are subject to harm from discrimination, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act is vital to the well-being of America’s most vulnerable youth,” said Casey Pick, Senior Fellow for Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. “We are especially grateful that this legislation would protect LGBTQ youth in foster care from being subjected to attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through the pseudo-scientific practice of conversion therapy.”
The Trevor Project is a member of the Every Child Deserves a Family Coalition, led by the Family Equality Council. Learn more about the campaign supporting this legislation at www.everychilddeservesafamily.com.
Studies have shown LGBTQ foster youth suffer worse outcomes in foster care, including longer stays in residential group homes rather than with families, higher rates of multiple placements, homelessness, hospitalization for emotional or mental health reasons, and elevated rates of suicide attempts.
The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state. A 2018 study found that the rate of attempted suicide by LGBTQ youth whose parents tried to change their sexual orientation was more than double the rate of LGBTQ youth who reported no such attempts. For LGBTQ young people who reported both home-based efforts to change their sexual orientation by parents and efforts by therapists or religious leaders, the rate was three times higher.
Learn more about reporting on conversion therapy.