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Linda Chalat
Linda Chalat
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ABA Working to Improve Life for LGBTQ Youth

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The ABA Center on Children and the Law has launched a new advocacy initiative. “The Kids are Listening” campaign is part of the ABA Center on Children and the Law’s Opening Doors Project, which was created in 2005 to increase the legal community’s awareness of LGBTQ youth in foster care and the unique issues they face and to provide the legal community with advocacy tools to successfully represent these youth. The Opening Doors Project works to make life better for LGBTQ youth today. The project is dedicated to training and supporting the legal and social service professionals on the front lines to ensure that LGBTQ foster youth have the support they deserve and the rights they demand.

Recent statistics on LGBTQ youth – both in and out of the foster care system – portray a grim reality for these children and teens:

LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to experience sexual- abuse before the age of 12

LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to attempt suicide as non-­‐LGBTQ youth

80% of LGBTQ youth reported physical violence by their families after coming out

Homeless youth suicide rates are more than twice as high (62%) than non-LGBTQ homeless youth (29%)

ABA is actively working to change this bleak picture through on-the-ground trainings, local task forces and comprehensive research and training material The Opening Doors Project provides the legal community with the advocacy tools they need to successfully represent LGBTQ youth in foster care. For more information visit: www.thekidsarelistinening.org.

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    What a great program – thanks for sharing.

    I am a big supporter of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” program which you can find at itgetsbetter.org. The idea was for openly gay adults to post videos to YouTube with their personal stories so that LGBT youth can imagine a future of acceptance for themselves. If you haven’t seen the videos yet, it is definitely worth watching a few.