THE PROBLEM: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth are disproportionately impacted by homelessness. Studies show that 20-40% of all homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, despite accounting for only 5% of the general population. LGBTQ youth often run away or are rejected from their families because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Rejection and discrimination at home are associated with risk factors including drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, risky sexual behavior, suicide, and high school drop-out rates. Once homeless or “out of home,” LGBTQ youth often experience problems finding safe housing, accessing supportive social services or being treated fairly within the juvenile justice system, often encountering staff unequipped to identify and meet their unique needs.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE: The Out-of-Home Youth Committee of the NJ State Bar Association’s LGBT Rights Section in partnership with Garden State Equality, Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers, Tyler Clementi Foundation, The New Jersey State Bar Foundation, The Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities, and the Women and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers Camden has developed a free half-day training for professionals who work on the front-lines of the children’s welfare, juvenile justice, corrections and probation systems and would like to better identify the needs of LGBTQ youth and provide services that best fit them.
ABOUT THE TRAINING: FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - The half-day (9am-1pm) training will feature Dr. Caitlin Ryan, a nationally recognized expert on LGBT youth, an LGBTQ cultural competency training, and two expert panel discussions on the juvenile justice and children’s welfare systems. The same training will be held in two locations; Camden and New Brunswick on two separate days. Registration information and instructions are here. If you cannot attend, but would like to support the event with a tax deductible contribution, please do so here.
September 18, Rutgers Camden – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
South ABC- Camden Campus Center – 326 Penn Street, Camden, NJ
September 19, Rutgers New Brunswick – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cook Student Center – 59 Biel Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
MORE ABOUT THE EVENT- The featured speaker Dr. Caitlin Ryan is the Director of the Family Acceptance Project, a research, intervention, education and policy initiative that works to decrease health and mental health risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children and youth, including suicide, homelessness and HIV – in the context of their families. Dr. Ryan has worked to implement quality care for LGBT youth since the early 1990s and her groundbreaking work has been acknowledged by many groups, including the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American Psychological Association.
In addition, the event will provide a basic LGBTQ cultural competency training geared towards professionals who are working with LGBTQ youth but have limited training in their specific needs and would like to become familiar with relevant terminology and best practices.
Finally, there will be two expert panel discussions; one will look at the challenges facing homeless and out of home LGBTQ youth while attempting to access care and services within the children’s welfare system, the second will explore the difficulties LGBTQ youth face while in the juvenile justice, probation and corrections systems, including the school to prison pipeline.
More information about Dr. Ryan and her work can be found at:
The conference is co-sponsored by The New Jersey State Bar Foundation, Garden State Equality, Tyler Clementi Foundation, Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers University, The Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities and the Women and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers Camden.
This is the second year of Becoming Visible, a conference created to raise awareness of LGBT youth homelessness.
THE EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, BUT REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.
Registration for September 18th is full – wait list only.
Registration for September 19th is still open!
You can also make a tax deductible donation in any amount to support the event.