Achieving LGBT Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

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Breaking the Silence: LGBTQ Foster Youth Tell Their Stories

Resource CD


To ensure the most effective use of Breaking the Silence, each DVD comes packaged with a CD containing over 25 training tools and resources. These materials not only provide additional background and information for trainers who screen the DVD, but are meant to be distributed to those who are watching the DVD to supplement their knowledge and give them tools to put into action. Some resources will also assist administrators or managers in transforming their agencies into ones that have an organizational culture that is inclusive of LGBT youth.

You can download all of the resources included on the Breaking the Silence CD below.

To order your own copy of the DVD and resource CD:order onlinedownload a mail order form

tools for using the Breaking the Silence dvd

Breaking the Silence: Introduction and User's Guide
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Breaking the Silence: DVD Viewing and Discussion Guide
Provides an introduction to each story to assist in determining which stories best meet training or screening goals. The guide also identifies some of the themes of each story, defines relevant vocabulary, and includes discussion questions that can be used after any of the individual stories or to shape a conversation after a screening of all ten stories.
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Breaking the Silence: Using LGBTQ Terminology
A glossary which provides an overview of some common terms as well as an introduction to concepts important for understanding sexual orientation and gender identity.
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Breaking the Silence: An Annotated Resource List
Listing of books, articles, films, hotlines, and websites that concern LGBT youth. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather can give providers a starting place for finding more information about LGBT youth for themselves, or for the youth and families with whom they work.
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best practices for working with lgbtq youth in out-of-home care

CWLA Best Practice Guidelines: Serving LGBT Youth in Out-of-Home Care
Shannan Wilber, Legal Services for Children, Caitlin Ryan, Cesar Chavez Institute, & Jody Marksamer, National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006) (96 pages)
The Child Welfare League of America's (CWLA) Best Practice Guidelines are the first-ever set of comprehensive recommendations about how child welfare and juvenile justice professionals can best serve and work with LGBT youth in state care. These recommendations draw from current research and informed practice to provide guidance to child welfare and juvenile justice institutions, administrators, and staff about how to provide safe and equitable environments for all youth, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This easy-to-use resource gives child welfare and juvenile justice agencies across the country a powerful tool to help make a cultural shift to LGBT inclusive programming in order to become the supportive systems that LGBT youth in state care need to grow into healthy and happy adults.
You can purchase hard copies of this book from CWLA online or call 1.800.407.6273. ISBN# 1-58760-095-1, Stock Number: 10951, Price: $14.95.
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The Model Standards Project: Creating Inclusive Systems for LGBT Youth in Out-of Home Care
Shannan Wilber, Legal Services for Children, Carolyn Reyes, Legal Services for Children, & Jody Marksamer, National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006) (12 pages)
This article describes the history, development, and goals of the Model Standards Project (MSP), a collaboration of Legal Services for Children and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The MSP developed a set of model professional standards governing the care of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in out-of-home care, which eventually became the CWLA Best Practice Guidelines for Serving LGBT Youth in Out-of-Home Care. The article concludes with recommendations for implementation of the model standards in local jurisdictions. A version of this article appears in Volume 85, Issue 2, of Child Welfare, a journal published by the Child Welfare League of America.
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Achieving Permanency for LGBTQ Youth
Jill Jacobs & Madelyn Freundlich (2006) (18 pages)
This article discusses two separate and distinct movements within the child welfare field: the development of new models of permanency services for older children and youth in foster care and the development of services for LGBTQ youth. This article proposes innovative approaches for integrating these two movements in order to ensure that permanency is achieved for all LGBTQ youth in foster care. A version of this article appears in Volume 85, Issue 2, of Child Welfare, a journal published by the Child Welfare League of America.
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reports on lgbtq youth in out-of-home care

Out of the Margins: A Report On Regional Listening Forums Highlighting the Experiences of LGBTQ Youth in Care
Rudy Estrada, Lambda Legal & Rob Woronoff, Child Welfare League of America (2006) (160 pages)
Between September 2003 and December 2004, the CWLA/Lambda Legal joint LGBTQ initiative, Fostering Transitions, conducted a series of 13 regional listening forums in order to highlight the experiences of LGBTQ youth in care. The forums were held in every region of the country and were attended by more than 500 current and former youth in care and the adults who work with them, representing approximately half the states in the country. This report highlights existing services for LGBTQ youth in care, outlines a broad range of unmet needs, and contains numerous recommendations for improved services for LGBTQ youth in care. You can order a hard copy of Out of the Margins free of charge in CWLA's online store (shipping charges apply).
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Justice for all? A report on LGBT youth in the New York Juvenile Justice System
Feinstein, Randi, et al, Lesbian and Gay Youth Project of the Urban Justice Center (2001) (73 pages)
A report that chronicles the experiences of LGBT youth in the New York City juvenile justice system, identifies the main problems, and makes recommendations for improvement. It uses a combination of social science research and personal interviews with juvenile justice professionals and LGBT youth to reveal the discrimination and bias against LGBT youth in the system.
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tools to improve services for lgbtq youth

The Model Standards Project County Readiness Survey
Legal Services for Children (2006) (5 pages)
This assessment can help counties and child welfare or juvenile justice agencies determine their capacity for serving LGBT youth effectively through an examination of their current policies and practices. This tool is meant to supplement the CWLA Best Practice Guide for Serving LGBT Youth in Out-of-Home Care.
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Casey Life Skills GLBTQ Youth Assessment Supplement
Casey Family Programs (2006) (1 page)
Casey Family Programs' Life Skills Assessment is a free and easy-to-use tool to help young people prepare for adulthood. The Assessment includes an optional supplement developed specifically for GLBTQ youth. The life skills assessments, including the supplements, provide instant feedback. Customized learning plans provide a clear outline of next steps, and the accompanying teaching resources are available for free or at a minimal cost.
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Beyond the Binary: A Tool Kit for Gender Identity Activism in Schools
GSA Network, Transgender Law Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights (2004) (50 pages)
According to a recent survey, 90 percent of transgender and other gender non-conforming youth surveyed nationwide reported feeling unsafe at school because of their gender identity or expression. To address this situation, NCLR, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, and the Transgender Law Center created Beyond the Binary: A Tool Kit for Gender Identity Activism in Schools. Beyond the Binary is a comprehensive tool kit designed to help students, school staff, and other community activists who want to address harassment and discrimination against transgender and other gender non-conforming students.
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If You Are Concerned About Your Child's Gender Behavior: A Guide For Parents
Children's National Medical Center (2003) (18 pages)
A resource for parents who want information and advice on a child's gender-variant behaviors from the Children's National Medical Center (CNHMC). Color hard copy brochures are available for purchase from CNHMC.
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short fact sheets concerning lgbtq youth

LGBTQ Youth in the Foster Care System
National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006) (5 pages)
Because of the harassment and abuse that many LGBTQ youth face in their homes, schools, and social settings, LGBTQ youth enter the foster care system at a disproportionate rate. In a terrible irony, many of these youth endure further harassment or abuse after being placed in out-of-home care. Using statistics and quotes from LGBTQ youth, this fact sheet provides an overview of the pathways that lead many LGBTQ youth into care and their experiences once in child welfare placements.
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The Legal Rights of LGBT Youth in the Child Welfare System
National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006) (7 pages)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young people in the child welfare system have clearly-established civil rights under the U. S. Constitution as well as state and federal statutes. This user-friendly fact sheet provides an overview of these rights.
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LGBTQ Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006) (5 pages)
LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. Many LGBTQ youth enter the system as a direct result of the abuse, discrimination, or lack of support they have encountered due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Once in juvenile justice placements, LGBTQ youth are too often subject to further discrimination or harassment. Using statistics and quotes from LGBTQ youth, this fact sheet provides an overview of the pathways that lead many LGBTQ youth into the juvenile justice system and their experiences once in detention or correctional facilities.
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The Legal Rights of LGBT Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006) (8 pages)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young people in the juvenile justice system have clearly-established civil rights under the U. S. Constitution as well as state and federal statutes. This user-friendly fact sheet provides an overview of these rights.
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legal and policy information

The Legal Rights of Young People in State Custody: What Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Professionals Need to Know When Working with LGBT Youth
Rudy Estrada, Lambda Legal & Jody Marksamer, National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006) (17 pages)
Youth in state custody, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, have federal and state constitutional and statutory rights. These rights guarantee a young person safety in their placement as well as freedom from the deprivation of other liberty interests. Knowledge of a youth's legal rights can help providers avoid legal liability and create a safer and healthier environment for the LGBT youth they serve. This article discusses the rights of youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice system and how these rights apply to the experiences of LGBT youth. A version of this article appears in Volume 85, Issue 2, of Child Welfare, a journal published by the Child Welfare League of America.
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Model Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy for Child Welfare or Juvenile Justice Agencies
National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006) (8 pages)
This publication provides child welfare and juvenile justice professionals, youth, and youth advocates with a sample anti-harassment and non-discrimination policy for use by child welfare and juvenile justice agencies. The sample policy describes agencies' legal responsibility to create a safe and supportive environment for all youth, including those who are LGBT. The sample policy provides concrete examples of prohibited harassment, reporting procedures, and required administrative responses to reports of harassment and discrimination.
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recursos en español (resources in spanish)

La juventud LGBTQ en el Sistema de Hogares Sustitutos (LGBTQ Youth in the Foster Care System)
Centro Nacional de Derechos Lésbicos (NCLR) (5 páginas)
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Los Jóvenes LGBTQ en el Sistema de Justicia Juvenil (LGBTQ Youth in the Juvenile Justice System)
Centro Nacional de Derechos Lésbicos (NCLR) (5 páginas)
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Si a usted le preocupan los comportamientos de genero de su hijo o hija: Una Guia para Padres (If You Are Concerned About Your Child's Gender Behavior: A Guide For Parents)
Children's National Medical Center (2003) (18 páginas)
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resources and tools for California providers

Queer & Trans Youth in California Foster Care Have Rights: A Know Your Rights Guide
National Center for Lesbian Rights, California Youth Connection, Out of Home Youth Advocacy Council (2005) (2 pages)
NCLR, in collaboration with the Out of Home Youth Advocacy Council and California Youth Connection, produced a "Know Your Rights Guide" to help queer and transgender youth in the California foster care system navigate the rights which protect them.
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AB 458 Fact Sheet: The California Foster Care Non-Discrimination Act
National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006) (3 pages)
AB 458, the Foster Care Non-Discrimination Act, was signed into law on September 6, 2003 and went into effect on January 1, 2004. This law is the first of its kind in the United States to explicitly include protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and adults involved with the foster care system. This Fact Sheet provides a summary of the scope of AB 458.
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LGBTQ Youth in the California Foster Care System: A Question and Answer Guide
National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006) (6 pages)
This question and answer guide is designed to address many of the frequently-asked questions about protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the California foster care system from harassment and discrimination.
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Hate-free Zone Poster
The Los Angeles Task Force to End Homophobia in Foster Care & OHYAC (2006) (1 page)
This poster communicates to youth and adults that the agency or individual who posts it on their wall does not tolerate hatred or discrimination based on individual differences, including sexual orientation and gender identity. The poster informs youth that they can contact the California Foster Care Ombudsperson's office for safe and confidential help.
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more information from the Breaking the Silence partners

Center for Digital Storytelling: About Our Community Workshops
Center for Digital Storytelling (2006) (1 page)
The Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) is the organization that ran the digital storytelling workshop and produced the Breaking the Silence DVD. CDS's unique digital storytelling workshop model integrates creative writing, oral history, and facilitative digital media manipulation to assist people with little-to-no prior mediamaking experience in creating short digital videos, or "digital stories."
read more about the Center for Digital Storytelling

Y.O.U.T.H. (Youth Offering Unique Tangible Help) Training Project
The Y.O.U.T.H. Training project supported the youth from Breaking the Silence in producing and directing their digital stories.
read more about the Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project

more information from NCLR

The Equity Project: Ensuring Fairness & Respect for LGBT Youth in the Justice System
Legal Services for Children, National Juvenile Defender Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006) (2 pages)
A brochure that describes the need, purposes, and goals of the Equity Project, an initiative to ensure that LGBT youth in the juvenile delinquency court system are treated with dignity, respect and fairness.
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