In an effort to consider the needs of LGBTQ youth in the foster care system, three organizations will co-sponsor an information session for potential foster parents. Hearts & Homes for Youth, a non-profit that works to help victimized youth become independent, productive adults through a variety of residential and supportive programs; PFLAG-Howard County; and Equality Maryland have teamed up to co-host the session on Jan. 28.
The event, which will take place from 7-9 p.m. at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way in Columbia, will feature a panel discussion with a current foster parent, an LGBT adult who was in foster care, and Hearts & Homes staff who will speak about opportunities to get involved and to be a foster parent. The panel discussion will last an hour followed by Q&A.
“Foster youth face many challenges; the challenge of being in foster care alone is very difficult but being an LGBT youth in foster care presents an additional challenge,” Caitlin Buckley, director of community relations for Hearts & Homes, told the Blade. “Being able to live in a foster home where a parent not only accepts them but understands the specific challenges they face as an LGBT youth in foster care helps them heal and feel supported on an additional level.”
The session is free, and all are welcome to attend. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page LGBTQ Youth Foster Parent Information Session.