Building Education and Employment Supports for Homeless LGBTQ Youth

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  • 1. Building Education and Employment Supports for Homeless LGBTQ Youth Company Name Simon Costello, Associate Director Department of Children, Youth & Family Services February 2014
  • 2. Background o 6,000 homeless youth (up to 24 years) in LA County (point in time) o In Hollywood, 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ o In Hollywood, 40% of homeless youth have a history of foster care o Nationally, 25% of young people who come out to their parents are forced to leave home
  • 3. Presenting Issues and Challenges For Homeless LGBTQ Youth o Rejection and isolation o Discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, harassment; physical, sexual and emotional abuse o Negative school experiences and interrupted education o Absence of role models and mentors o Dis-engagement o Lack of a sense of a positive future self
  • 4. At the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Youth Center on Highland o Drop-in and resource center, open 7 days a week Emergency Overnight Bed Program o 20 beds for 18- 24 year olds, up to 36 days Transitional Living Program o 24 beds for 18-24 years old, up to 18 months Independent Living Program o 12 bed in supportive apartments LifeWorks o Youth Development Program RISE (Recognize Intervene Support Empower) o Research project to improve permanency for LGBTQ foster youth
  • 5. Homeless Youth Services: Strategies and Outcomes Trauma Informed Services Positive Youth Development Stable Housing & Self-Sufficiency Employment & Education Core Outcomes Permanent Connections Well-Being
  • 6. Homeless Youth Services: Strategies Trauma Informed Approach o Takes into consideration the various and multiple sources of trauma that youth have endured and how trauma impacts youth behavior and youth development; o Informs service delivery, training and policy; o Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC) Framework; and o Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) multi-session, multi-group intervention Positive Youth Development Aims to support and increase a young persons ability to make healthier personal choices by providing them five fundamental resources or promises: o o o o o Caring Adults Safe Places A Healthy Start and Future Effective Education Opportunities to Help Others
  • 7. Education and Employment: Guiding Principles School Attendance Educational Achievement Early Work experience Long Term Employment Success
  • 8. GED Preparation and Education Program  GED Preparation Program  Microsoft Office Training  College Exploration, Preparation, Enrollment and Support  Engage  Motivate  Support  Celebrate!
  • 9. Career Development Continuum Career Awareness Career Preparation Learn about a wide variety of jobs and careers Age Career Exploration Explore, research and plan for the future Gain work experience, skills and training 0–8 8 – 16 16 – 24
  • 10. Employment Services Goals: Tools: o Community Awareness Outings o Explore career opportunities o Increase competencies o Learn the culture of work o Workshops – Speaker Series o Informational Interviews o Job Shadowing o Volunteer Opportunities o Internships o Build community supports o Job Placements
  • 11. Community Collaborations: Guideline o Co-operative agreement Community Collaborations o Discuss and set expectations o Provide support to employer o Provide resources and Individual Placement and Support support to youth o Monitor and adjust o Celebrate!
  • 12. Outcomes o In the past 12 months:  300 youth participants in the program  45 community partners  12 youth earned a GED  90 youth secured employment  33 internship placements of which 29 secured employment o Average length of stay at TLP is now 12 months (up from 7 months in the past 2 years) o 75% of clients who exited TLP secured permanent housing o 92% of 24 TLP youth are working, in school or both
  • 13. In 2010, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center received federal funding to launch RISE (Recognize Intervene Support Empower) to: o Assist LGBTQ foster youth achieve permanency. o Increase acceptance and support for LGBTQ youth. Facts: o LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented within the foster care system. o 40% of homeless LGBTQ transitional age youth spent time in foster care.
  • 14. PROJECT OBJECTIVES Research, develop and test best practices to assist LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system: (1) Find durable family connections (2) Build supportive community connections (3) Achieve emotional permanency (4) Obtain legal permanency in homes where they feel safe, nurtured, and loved into adulthood.
  • 15. Simon Costello Associate Director of Children, Youth & Family Services L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center scostello@lagaycenter.org (323) 860-3616