Achieving Permanency for LGBTQ+ Youth in Foster Care

Tools for Child Welfare Professionals

These resources were collected for a session on achieving permanency and building affirming family networks for LGBTQ+ youth in foster care. They are designed to help develop a common language around Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE), identify and engage affirming kin, safely identify youth SOGIE and plan for the data collection protocols involved. Also included are resources to support youth in their journey.

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Shannon Deinhart

Executive Director and Co-Founder

Shannon (she/her) has over 25 years of experience advancing kinship care, foster care, and adoption. She has led the way in advancing Family Seach and Engagement efforts in Ohio, including  implementation of Kinnect to Family. She led the development and implementation of the Ohio Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program (OhioKAN) program in partnership with the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. Shannon holds a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University.
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Heather Jamison

Trainer and Safe Zone Facilitator

Heather (she/her) has over 13 years of experience in children services. She has been a Safe Zone facilitator with LGBTQ+ Lorain County since 2019, working to make Lorain County a safe and inclusive place to work, play, and live. Heather has a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Ohio University. While completing her bachelor’s degree, she participated in the University Partnership Program.

Family Finding and CAFF tools

Safe Identification Tools

Policy and Data Collection Protocols

Youth Acceptance Resources