Florida’s Department of Children and Families were scheduled to remove protections for LGBTQ youth in foster and group homes. Equality Florida and child welfare experts immediately took action and met with DCF Secretary Mike Carroll. A three hour public hearing followed and all testimony unanimously expressed strong support for reinstating the protections for LGBTQ youth.
Along with reinstating these protections against discrimination, bullying, psychological abuse and forced “conversion therapy” DCF also announced its plan to implement long-term training plans. Care providers and other professionals working with DCF will be trained to implement nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ youth. Also a position will be developed to address any complaint of discrimination. An anonymous hotline will be established that will allow an immediate investigation into a claim of mistreatment.
Equality Florida also issued a challenge to members of the LGBTQ community to become foster parents. Greater diversity for foster families is needed. “Nothing will improve the lives of young people in the child welfare system more than proper placement and that depends on an expanded pool of diverse options. I encourage all LGBTQ adults to seriously consider this challenge, and to be the adult you wish you had in your life when you were young. “Tags: Equality, Florida, LGBTQ protections, LGBTQ youth