Affirming Youth Identity Saves Lives
A Family for Every Child (AFFEC) believes all youth, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, deserves a permanent and loving family that acknowledges and affirms their identity. Affirming a youth’s identity means caregivers help the youth develop positive feelings about their identity, support their sense of belonging to their identified social groups, and ensure the youth has clear caregiver acceptance.
AFFEC recognizes LGBTQ+ youth are disproportionately represented in foster care and the houseless youth community. The Human Rights Campaign’s most recent youth survey indicates LBGTQ+ youth make up over a third of the almost 400,000 youth in foster care (HRC, 2023). Additionally, LGBTQ+ youth are twice as likely to be unhoused when compared to their peers and make up more than 40% of the unhoused youth population (McKinnon et al., 2023). We are committed to prioritizing youth needs and characteristics in adoptive and host home recruitment efforts and service development.
The CDC reports suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24. Suicide for this age group increased by 52% between 2000-2021 (CDC, 2023, HRC 2023), and youth who identify as LGBTQ+ are five times more likely than their heterosexual peers to commit suicide (Gaylor et al., 2023). However, the presence of an affirming caregiver in a youth’s life reduces the likelihood of suicide by 57% (Price et al., 2023).
Family acceptance saves youth’s lives. A Family for Every Child is dedicated to changing these statistics by supporting affirming families as they care for our diverse community of children.