California Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Foster Families To ‘Meet The Needs’ Of LGBTQ Youth

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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The California legislature passed a bill that requires foster families to demonstrate that they will “meet the needs” of a child’s gender identity and sexual orientation.

The bill, SB 407, was introduced in February by Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener and passed the California Assembly Wednesday 61-14, and the state Senate the following day in a 32-8 vote. Wiener announced Friday on Twitter that his bill had made it through both houses and would be sent to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. (RELATED: California Passes Bill Threatening Custody Of Parents Who Won’t ‘Affirm’ Their Kids’ Gender)

“Our bill to ensure foster parents understand the need to support LGBTQ foster youth — who are 30% of foster youth — & not kick them out, abuse them, or traumatize them (SB 407) is on its way to the Governor, having passed both the Senate & the Assembly,” Weiner tweeted.

The bill, if signed into law, would require foster families to “demonstrate an ability and willingness to meet the needs of a child, regardless of the child’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression” and “obtain resources offered by the county or foster family agency or other available resources to meet those needs,” according to the legislation. The bill claims that “LGBTQ foster youth” are currently being forced into foster homes where they face “nonaffirming” environments.

“Foster youth have a right to be placed in out-of-home care according to their gender identity and the right to have caregivers that have received instruction on cultural competency and sensitivity relating to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and best practices for providing adequate care to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children in out-of-home care,” the legislation reads.

Foster families would also receive 12 hours of training on topics that include “cultural competency and sensitivity,” specifically regarding a child’s gender and sexual orientation, according to the bill.

A similar bill was passed on Sept. 8 that requires a judge to consider a parent’s willingness to affirm their child’s gender and sexual orientation in the event of settling a custody dispute. Weiner claimed the bill, which has not yet been signed by Newsom, is necessary to protect the “health, safety, and welfare” of children.

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