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Best Practices in Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth and their Caregivers in the Child Welfare System


Presented by Christopher Bellonci, MD, DFAACAP

Senior Policy Advisor, Baker Center for Children and Families; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School


Location: Virtually on Zoom

There is relatively little data about youth who identify as queer or trans in state and county child welfare systems in the United States. What is known shows significant disparities in terms of the numbers of youth identifying as LGBTQ+, their longer lengths of stay in care, lower rates of achieving permanency and higher utilization of congregate care. Dr. Bellonci will describe ground-breaking work developing tailored services and supports for youth in foster care who identify as LGBTQ+, their caregivers, their biological families, and the child welfare workforce. Drawing from a US Children’s Bureau-funded initiative involving four local implementation sites supported by a technical assistance center, Dr. Bellonci will review the evidence-based findings of best practices to support this highly vulnerable and marginalized group of young people.

Target Audience

Physicians (psychiatrists, pediatricians, child neurologists), psychologists, social workers, other mental health clinicians and researchers, and students and trainees.   

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:
  1. Identify disparities impacting youth in child welfare systems who identify as LGBTQ+.
  2. Learn evidence-based and evidence-informed approaches to supporting LGBTQ+ youth, their caregivers and child welfare staff using tailored interventions and services.

Continuing Education (CE/CEU) Information


The Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The institution designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


The Children's Hospital Boston Psychology Division is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. This institution maintains responsibility for this program and its content. 


The National Association of Social Workers has approved this series for continuing education credits for social workers.