An urgent need for trained helping professionals
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) people have long been considered an invisible population in systems of care. Jurisdictions throughout the United States typically lack services and resources that meet the unique needs of this population. Public and private stakeholders are also often unaware of the institutional and individual barriers to permanency for LGBTQ+ people.
Through the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s groundbreaking, federally-funded RISE initiative, RISE initially developed and tested a new service model that would reduce the number of LGBTQ+ youth in long-term foster care and help them find affirming, permanent homes. RISE has since evolved into a more robust, national program that works in broader systems of care at the local, state, and federal level. RISE is recognized as one of the leading LGBTQ+ programs addressing the disproportionately negative outcomes for LGBTQ+ populations and is the only federally evaluated, evidence-informed program of its kind. RISE remains relevant and informed through its continuously expanding permanent connection-based direct services for youth and caregivers, training and coaching for professionals, and advocacy to achieve systems-level change. At the core of RISE is the belief that with skilled, thoughtful, and targeted interventions, LGBTQ+ people can achieve permanency and positive outcomes in safe and affirming environments.