Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Gender Identity Support to Strengthen Communities

Building strong communities requires understanding and supporting individuals and their different identities, including gender identify. Gender, defined by Gender Spectrum as “the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity, is one of the most fundamental aspects of self-expression and impacts everybody."

Throughout its work with communities and public systems, the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) is committed to addressing inequities and securing the well-being of children and families. CSSP’s get R.E.A.L. initiative, in particular, is dedicated to improving the healthy sexual and identity development for all children and youth in the child welfare system. Recognizing that youth in the child welfare system often face poor outcomes compared to their peers, get R.E.A.L. provides resources and works to create lasting policy and practice change within the nation’s child welfare system to benefit LGBTQ youth.

For institutions and families seeking an additional resource, Gender Spectrum provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for children of all ages. Gender Spectrum helps communities understand different identities by issuing guidance and training on topics including: parenting and family, teens, education, medical, mental health, legal, social services and faith. Gender Spectrum also offers professional trainings for social service providers, schools and other agencies including:
  • Development of gender identity in young children and adolescents
  • Differentiation between gender identity and personal preferences
  • Identifying and distinguishing markers of the Gender-expansive or transgender child and the lesbian or gay child
  • The role of gender within the family/ individual caregiver system and offer a new lens through which to view gender development
  • Cultural competence for gender diversity are offered as a way of identifying unique issues for the families of today
  • Developmental stages of acceptance for a family and individual caregiver and how to be most supportive in moving towards research based effective upbringing of children and youth
  • The impact of gender diversity on other aspects of development
  • Social and physical transitions and how to determine whether a child is ready for these steps

Want to learn more about Gender Spectrum? Be sure to check out their website.

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