A new report released today from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) includes perspectives and insights from FosterClub Lived Experience (LEx) Leaders.
Last summer, fifteen LEx leaders joined staff from the Government Accountability Office in two roundtable discusions where they discussed their experiences in foster care as young people who identified as a part of the LGBTQ+ community or experiences with religion in foster care.
This report was conducted because Congressional Leaders from the House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee requested the GAO to examine the experiences that young people in foster care were having - particularly around identity and religion.
Three Congressional Leaders - Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL), and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) - reflected on the value of hearing from LEx leaders in their press release:
"We’ve heard directly from youth with lived experience about how the right placements and supports make all the difference for their future success. The challenges and opportunities that GAO has identified will inform our ongoing work to support foster youth, and we plan to work closely with the Biden Administration to build on its efforts to reduce discrimination and enhance protections across the nation.”
The report has 2 recommendations:
- Support for best practices state child welfare agencies can use when collecting data for LGBTQ+ foster youth and supporting young people's gender identities when evaluating and deciding placements.
- State child welfare agencies need more help on ways to support youth of various religious beliefs in foster care.
Read the full report: https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-22-104688