Working to Promote Protection by Supporting LGBTQ+ Teens in Foster Care

Webinar: Working to Promote Protection by Supporting LGBTQ+ Teens in Foster Care

December 8, 2022


Webinar Description

Youth in foster care face unique risk and protective factors related to substance misuse. LGTBQ+ youth in foster care need explicit support and acceptance; however, few caseworkers and caregivers receive specialized training. To address this, the Connecting: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) eLearning was developed. During this webinar, participants will learn about the importance of gender-affirming care for adolescence. They will also learn about the free online resource for caregivers and social workers offered by the State of Washington Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence.


Webinar Recording and Slides


Additional Resources



Susan Barkan, PhD, Director of Research, Partners for our Children. Dr. Barkan is a Principal Research Scientist and Director of Research at Partners for Our Children. Her work involves developing and evaluating programs and policies to improve the lives of children and families in the child welfare system. Susan is the principal investigator of Strive, a curriculum-based program designed to facilitate quality visits between parents and their children in foster care. She is a co-investigator of Connecting, a program for teens and their foster or relative caregivers aimed at preventing teens’ initiation of risky behaviors. Connecting has also developed a new module addressing the unique needs of LGBTQ2S teens in foster care. The module is available in the Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence training catalogue for caregivers. Throughout Susan’s career, she has focused on the social determinants of health and the elimination of inequities in health and wellness. She served on the Washington State Racial Disproportionality Advisory Committee until the committee ended in 2018. Susan earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University and a B.A. in psychology and biology from Antioch College. She completed a National Institute of Mental Health-funded postdoctoral fellowship in Family Violence at The Children's Hospital in Boston, MA, where she also held a faculty appointment in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She holds affiliate faculty appointments within the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Social Work.

Kym Ahrens MD, MPH, University of Washington Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Ahrens is an Associate Professor of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington School of Medicine. She also serves as Medical Director for the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families Juvenile Rehabilitation System (DCYF JR. She conducts research to identify needs and improve outcomes for youth exposed to early adversity including systems-involved and gender-diverse youth. 

Kevin P. Haggerty, M.S.W., Ph.D Dr. Haggerty is a professor emeritus at the University of Washington School of Social Work. He is the former director of the Social Development Research Group where he specialized in the delivery of prevention programs at the community, school and family level. For over three decades, he has focused on developing innovative ways to organize the scientific knowledge base for prevention so that parents, communities and schools can better identify, assess, and prioritize customized approaches that meet their needs. He has served as principal investigator on a variety of intervention-focused federally funded grants. An expert on substance abuse and delinquency prevention, Dr. Haggerty speaks, conducts trainings, and writes extensively on this field. He is a former board member and Fellow of the Society for Prevention Research and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and is a prevention science reviewer for periodicals such as Prevention Science.



Contact Clarissa Lam Yuen ([email protected]) if you have additional questions about the content related to this webinar.

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