Supporting LGBTQ+ Foster Teens: Development of a Relationship-Focused,Self-Guided Curriculum for Foster Families

  • Amy M. SalazarEmail author
  • Kevin P. Haggerty
  • Susan E. Barkan
  • Rachel Peterson
  • Madeline E. Furlong
  • Eunsaem Kim
  • Janice J. Cole
  • Jessica M. Colito


LGBTQ+ youth are over-represented in the foster care system. Child welfare systems across the country have been struggling with how to make their systems work better for the LGBTQ+ youth they serve. One strategy is developing foster caregiver trainings that bolster caregivers’ knowledge and support of LGBTQ+ youth in their care. This study has three aims: (1) to provide an overview of a module designed to support relationship building between LGBTQ+ youth in foster care and their caregivers, (2) to describe the theater testing procedure used to assess usability of the developed module with foster caregivers and adults, and (3) to share the results of the theater test. Overall, participants provided positive usability feedback about the module activities, as well as a wide variety of recommendations for strengthening the content for widespread use. Participants felt the module should be directed specifically toward caregiver skill development rather than toward both caregiver and youth support. This module represents one example of how materials focused on building foster caregivers’ knowledge and support have the potential to help LGBTQ+ teens who are over-represented in the foster care system.


Foster care Foster parent training Intervention development LGBTQ youth Parenting intervention Usability testing SOGI 



This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (grant no. 3R01DA038095-02S1).

Compliance with Ethical Standards


The content of this paper is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agency. The National Institute on Drug Abuse played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; nor in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human Participants: Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development/Prevention Science ProgramWashington State UniversityVancouverUSA
  2. 2.Social Development Research GroupUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Partners for Our ChildrenUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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