October 2020 Edition
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We hope this edition of our newsletter finds you safe and healthy as you continually serve children and families during these challenging times. As we are now less than a week from the election, visit HRC’s Voting Center for information about voter deadlines, how to track your ballot, confirming your voter registrations status, and more.

COVID-19 Increases Dangers for LGBTQ Youth in Care

Children’s Rights released a new report, developed with extensive input from LGBTQ youth currently or formerly in foster care and LGBTQ young people currently experiencing homelessness, describing the dangers of COVID-19 for LGBTQ youth in care. Through personal stories and discussion of the most notable issues for youth in care, the report details the challenges that COVID-19 has amplified for LGBTQ youth in care and proposes practices to help mitigate those challenges on the federal, state, and local levels.

Texas Board Restores Protections for LGBTQ and Disabled Social Work Clients Following
Backlash Over Rule Change

A state regulatory board changed the social worker code of conduct, removing non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ and disabled people in Texas, following a recommendation by the governor. Multiple advocacy groups, including HRC, signed onto a press release publicly denouncing the move because of the increased risk it poses for these vulnerable groups. After the public backlash against the move, the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council voted to reverse the move and restore protections for LGBTQ and disabled clients. Read more about the reversal here.

Inclusive Virtual Classrooms are Essential to the Success of LGBTQ Youth

As schools use online learning methods because of COVID-19, it is more important than ever that educators utilize the tools at their disposal to show they are affirming of LGBTQ identities. Research shows that when students feel safe and connected to their learning, their attendance and achievement improve. As Ashton Mota, a high school student and HRC youth ambassador, puts it, “learning in an online environment that is visibly welcoming and validating has greatly improved my ability to focus during class time.” Read more about how educators can and have created affirming virtual classrooms for their students.

Majority of LGBTQ Youth are Experiencing
Anxiety and Depression during COVID-19

A new poll conducted by The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization, surveyed 600 LGBTQ youth and 600 non-LGBTQ youth across the U.S. Results of the poll showed that three quarters of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing increased loneliness since the start of the pandemic and over half report symptoms of anxiety and depression. Additionally, over three quarters of Black LGBTQ youth reported that the ongoing unrest around systemic racism has negatively impacted their well-being. Read about more results from the poll here.

Project THRIVE Releases a Call to Action in
Response to CDC’s YRBS Data

Project THRIVE, a national campaign to support LGBTQ youth, released a report detailing key findings from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey. The HRC Foundation did an in-depth analysis of the findings, including exploration of survey results related to when schools fall short, unstable housing, mental health and suicidality, and substance use. The report concludes with an explanation of the importance of providing targeted staff training on LGBTQ topics. Read the full report here and more about Project THRIVE’s 8th annual Time to THRIVE conference in February 2021 here.

ACAF Project Updates
The 2021 participation cycle for new participants is launching this week, and returning participants can expect information about 2021 participation in November.
Resource Spotlight
In October, we marked the 32nd annual National Coming Out Day. In celebration, check out HRC’s extensive collection of Coming Out resources for LGBTQIA+ individuals and their allies! 

Nov – National  Adoption Month
11/1 – Trans Parent Day
11/8 – Intersex Solidarity Day
11/13 to 11/19 – Trans Awareness Week
11/20 – Trans Day of Remembrance
11/20 – Trans Day of Resilience
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