The Maryland Judiciary held a summit on Sept. 10 to help LGBT young people in the foster care system.
The summit, “Identifying, Supporting, and Meeting the Needs of LGBTQ Youth,” which took place at the Maritime Institute and Conference Center in Linthicum, Md., is thought to be the first in the nation designed to help judges, court professionals, attorneys, social services professionals and others who work with foster youth identify the barriers LGBT foster youths face and develop actions plans for their local jurisdictions.
“We are delighted that nearly 200 people from across 22 Maryland jurisdictions participated in the LGBTQ Foster Youth Summit, including representatives from the courts, the local departments of social services, juvenile services, health departments, children’s counsel, Office of the Public Defender and other key stakeholders,” Tracy Watkins-Tribbitt, director of Foster Care Court Improvement Project, said.
“The summit was about promoting greater awareness, fostering education and taking action to address the varied needs of LGBTQ youth in foster care,” she said. “The participating local teams now have an action plan that serves as a blueprint which identifies current resources as well as resources that may be needed in the future to better serve LGBTQ youth. Over the next few months, the local action plans will be refined and teams will assess who else needs to be at the table.”