The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Protecting LGBTQ Youth in Out-of-Home Care

Grant Information
Categories Community
Location United States
Cycle Year 2022
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Lambda legal defense and education fund inc.
EIN 23-7395681
Contact Information
Contact Name Mr. Andreas Schwarz
Phone (646) 307-7404
120 Wall Street
19th Floor
New york
Additional Information
Used for Through our Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project, we will win new protections for LGBTQ+ youth in schools and other government systems, including foster care and the juvenile justice system by publishing and disseminating our updated Safe Havens report focusing on LGBTQ+ youth in out-of-home care.
Benefits Support for publication and dissemination of Safe Havens (2023) will enable us to highlight the need and urgency for affirming policies and supportive treatment of LGBTQ+ youth in schools and in out-of-home care. This advocacy leads to improved long-term educational outcomes and reduces negative public health consequences for LGBTQ+ youth. Moreover, our work, complimented by this new publication, helps to fundamentally improve the culture in schools, group homes and shelters - places where youth can face inequity and mistreatment in the very systems charged with their well-being and positive development.
Proposal Description

Lambda Legal is committed to achieving the full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) people and all persons living with HIV through impact litigation, public education, and public policy work. For decades Lambda Legal has worked to ensure LGBTQ+ youth are safe, treated equitably, and have access to the support they need. Through its Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project (YOHCP), which advocates for youth in foster care and juvenile justice systems and on behalf of youth experiencing homelessness, and its advocacy for youth in schools, Lambda Legal works to protect youth from harm and to secure their right to free expression.

Our 2017 report, Safe Havens: Closing the Gap Between Recommended Practice and Reality for Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth in Out-of-Home Care, developed in partnership with Children’s Rights and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, was a first-of-its-kind summary of federal protections and interactive maps capturing state-based protections (or lack thereof), in child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This publication of information and complimentary maps provided an indispensable resource for the community, and has allowed us to strategize and execute proactive, state-based advocacy at a time when our federal advocacy work is largely defensive in nature. Our state-based advocacy goal is straightforward, but ambitious: for each state to place SOGIE-inclusive (sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression) nondiscrimination protections in statutes or regulations specific to LGBTQ+ youth , and to issue detailed LGBTQ+ -specific statewide agency policy. Safe Havens also identified a critical gap for youth experiencing homelessness. Without a state agency focused specifically on their needs, and with no dedicated statutory or regulatory scheme, youth experiencing homelessness all too often have no state-based protection from discrimination.

Lambda Legal has worked in partnership with Children’s Rights and the Center for Social Policy to refresh and expand this essential publication, including an update of the maps that highlight the protections of LGBTQ+ youth in the juvenile justice system and child welfare systems across the United States. This revised edition is scheduled for publication in March 2023, and with your support, we will be able to develop a comprehensive strategy to disseminate the report broadly across the United States. This strategy will include the utilization of our social media, development of a podcast specific to the nature of this work, and travel by our Senior Attorneys to various jurisdictions throughout the US to share findings from the report at conferences, meeting with policy experts and state-based government institutions that protect our youth and those most vulnerable in the community. Your support will make a difference for LGBTQ+ youth across the US that are often the most vulnerable in our communities and are in need of protection to develop into thriving adults.

We are happy to arrange a call to share more about our youth work and the new Safe Havens publications. Please reach out to Andreas M. Schwarz, Director of Institutional Giving with any questions at We are grateful for the opportunity to share our work and thank you in advance for your consideration of our request.