Suggested practices to create safer and more affirming programs for LGBTQ
WORKSHOP LED BY CHRISTIAN RUMMELL
Dr. Christian Rummell has over 20 years of experience as a researcher, training and technical assistance provider, and practitioner in the youth mentoring field—with specific expertise on mentoring LGBTQ youth. Currently, Dr. Rummell serves as a Research Board Member with the National Mentoring Resource Center and is a key consultant on the national Big Brothers Big Sisters of America LGBTQ youth mentoring enhancement initiative. At Portland State University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Research, Dr. Rummell conducted one of the first studies on the role of mentors in supporting identity development in LGBTQ youth and is the co-author of Mentor’s LGBTQ Youth Supplement to the Elements of Effective Practice. He is currently Principal Consultant with Mentorist (www.mentorist.org).
LGBTQ youth often face specific challenges as they navigate through adolescence, including bullying and harassment from peers, parent and family rejection, psychological distress, and risk-taking behaviors. In addition, they are at increased risk of experiencing homelessness and are disproportionately represented in juvenile justice and child welfare systems in comparison to straight and cisgender peers. Given these experiences, there is a great need to better understand how to intentionally create safe and affirming services that can respond to these risks and improve outcomes.
Mentoring appears well-positioned to offer individualized and responsive support for LGBTQ youth as they explore, question, accept and share their identity as a sexual and/or gender minority. Under ideal relationship conditions, mentors can serve as advocates, provide social and emotional support, and help LGBTQ mentees see hopeful possibilities of their future selves. Unfortunately, until recently, only a limited body of research and programming has been available to offer guidance to practitioners.
To respond to this need, this session previews researcher- and practitioner- suggested practices to create safer and more affirming programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Using guidance from the newly released LGBTQ Youth Supplement to the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring and the National Mentoring Resource Center’s LGBTQ Youth Population Review, participants will learn about ways to intentionally update program policies and practices to better serve LGBTQ youth in their care.