In response to the Trump Administration’s decision Friday (May 08) to stop collecting vital data from foster youth and their parents, including questions about sexual orientation and gender identity, Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings issued the following statement:
“This is yet another frontal attack on the LGBT community by the Trump Administration. In a study commissioned by the Center and conducted by UCLA’s Williams Institute, nearly 20 percent of youth in foster care identified as LGBTQ, and they were twice as likely to be treated poorly within the foster system, including experiences of discrimination and violence. And yet, the specific needs of these youth go largely unattended, and they often face the same discrimination from their own foster families that exists in society at-large. Without better data, these youth remain invisible and susceptible to even greater harm and discrimination.
“This decision is not an accident. It is a further attempt by the Administration to erase the LGBTQ community from the American mainstream and to paint us as so loathsome that we don’t even deserve to be counted. And the result is that tens of thousands of LGBTQ youth in foster care will be harmed. Like all young people, LGBTQ youth deserve the opportunity to have a decent life and bright future. The Center will not stand idly by as this kind of hatred continues to be expressed in our public policy. We will redouble our efforts to make the welfare of these youth a priority and fight this Administration’s efforts to do them harm.”