The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to establish, by awarding a cooperative agreement, one National Quality Improvement Center (QIC) that will conduct 4-6 projects in partnership with state child welfare systems to produce a dedicated system of successful supports and interventions
that specifically support the permanency and stability of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the child welfare system.
The QIC will conduct projects with each of the selected state child welfare systems to develop a system of evidence-based services to improve the emotional, behavioral and medical health outcomes of these youth while actively developing permanent and stable placement opportunities for youth in foster care whom identify as LGBTQ or whom may express questioning their sexual identity/gender.
The QIC will complete an evaluation of each of the state projects and produce new, evidenced-based models of support and intervention that demonstrate improved well-being outcomes and assure permanency and stability for LGBTQ youth in foster care.
Specifically, the QIC on Permanency and Stability for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care will:
(1) review and provide capacity-building technical support to multiple research projects that build evidence regarding effective practices in services to LGBTQ youth, leading to improved well-being, placement stability and permanency; and (2) based on sound evaluation, develop a comprehensive catalog of the effectiveness of each project in improving well-being, permanency and placement stability to develop knowledge that other States/locales seeking to implement improved LGBTQ services can look to for guidance, insight, and possible replication.
The QIC would prioritize LGBTQ youth permanency and placement stability projects that most comprehensively provide for systemic change by:
- Prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and ensuring LGBTQ youth in care are respected by child welfare agency staff and peers;- Increasing LGBTQ cultural competency among agency staff and foster parents;- Providing child welfare services that address the specific needs of LGBTQ youth and their families;- Effecting prudent parenting, opportunities for “normalcy activities” and LGBTQ-affirming homes; and- Effectively managing information on the sexual orientation and gender identity of youth in the child welfare system.
These projects will engage in a rigorous evaluation in order to document effective implementation and practices, assess cost, and demonstrate linkages between their projects and improved outcomes.
Guided by a single uniform theory of change and logic model, the evaluations will include process, practice, cost and outcomes evaluation components.
Expected outcomes include:
- Development and implementation of four to six research projects in state, county, and tribal child welfare systems that commit to building effective practice models to improve permanency, well-being, and placement stability outcomes for LGBTQ children and youth in foster care;- Integration of identified practice models within the project site system, including the policies, programs, and practices that impact LGBTQ children and youth in foster care;- Promising practices and evidence-informed/evidence-based models of engagement, appropriate collective and individual services and intervention that can be linked to improved outcomes for the target population;- Improved permanency, well-being, and placement stability outcomes for LGBTQ children and youth in foster care in selected project sites;- Through comprehensive, project-specific evaluation activities, the Center will develop a catalogue of LGBTQ-responsive strategies and practices to lay the groundwork for further development of evidence-informed/evidence-based models of intervention for LGBTQ children and youth in foster care, with supporting protocols, tools and products that child welfare systems seeking to implement improved LGBTQ services can look to for guidance, insight, and replication; and- A cross-site evaluation that will build a body of knowledge regarding the appropriate elements to consider and address when building and implementing a comprehensive model of effective engagement, services, and interventions for LGBTQ children and youth in care.
This cooperative agreement is for a 5-year project period.