LGBTQ2+ Youth at StepStones

At StepStones for Youth, we believe in creating a safe and supportive environment for all youth, volunteers, staff and community partners who are a part of the LGBT2Q+ community. We are committed to continuing listening, evaluating, revising, and renewing our processes and strategies to ensure that we are an organization where everyone can unlock their full potential, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Our Current Impact

  • An external evaluator has reviewed our policies, website, and practices, and has made recommendations for fully inclusive practices 
  • Staff are being trained in anti-oppressive and anti-homophobic practices
  • Our offices and meeting places are  LGBT2Q+ positive spaces with signs to indicate this in our physical space and on our website
  • We have representation on our board and within our volunteer community
  • We provide training to mentors in order for them to gain an understanding and to ensure they are prepared to support LGBT2Q+ youth
  • We have a partnership with a Youth Outreach Worker who specializes in LGBT2Q+ issues and in supporting youth who identify as LGBT2Q+. Youth are able to call or text this individual regularly. 
  • We refer to youth, staff, and volunteers by their preferred pronouns
  • We have an anti-discrimination policy that clearly upholds the rights of the LGBT2Q+ population who are serviced by our organization as well as those  who work and volunteer for us. This includes sexual orientation as well as gender identity
  • We ensure that books and educational resources provided to youth, identify that there are numerous family structures and include same-sex couples in these teachings
  • We ensure our staff does not engage in using heterocentric language. For example, we refer to family structures by asking youth who their “guardians” are or the “adults that they live with” and all staff use the term “partner”
  • We encourage youth to be open and accepting of their own sexual orientation and gender identity as well as the orientation and identity of others and promote this in a positive manner while respecting their right to privacy and the decision to not disclose
  • We have all youth, volunteers and staff sign a code of conduct that includes respecting and celebrating everyone’s sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • We celebrate Pride with youth in our program and on our social media channels
  • We have specific and supportive resources online dedicated to youth in the LGBT2Q+ population that can easily be found 
  • We support youth who are living in environments that are homophobic to find them alternative and supportive living arrangements.
  • All staff work to safeguard the rights of youth from the LGBT2Q+ community 
  • All staff have access to a list of family physicians that have knowledge and skills to address medical concerns and are LGBT2Q+ positive and informed
  • All staff are required to use inclusive language
  • We have engaged in a complete review of intake forms and processes to ensure they are LGBT2Q+ positive

Our Commitment

We are committed to supporting all of the young people we work with, our volunteers, staff, and communities through education, action, and listening. Within StepStones we plan to:

  • Examine the data and the outcomes of youth  from the LGBT2Q+ community to ensure their outcomes are positive and consistent with those of other youth 
    • Status: Analysis has taken place and results are pending
  • Hold annual training for staff and board members
    • Status: In-Progress
  • Include additional reading and training for staff and volunteers
    • Status: Staff are taking part in a training course currently
  • Develop our list of family physicians that have knowledge and skills to address medical and mental health concerns that are  LGBT2Q+ positive and informed
    • Status: In-Progress
  • Add statistics related to LGBT2Q+ youth on our website
    • Status: Completed
  • Add on all recruitment calls and documentation that we encourage individuals from the LGBT2Q+ community to apply for employment with StepStones for Youth
    • Status: In-Progress
  • Ensure all of our documentation contains an LBGT2Q+ positive symbol
    • Status: In-Progress
  • Create a policy on what to do if a youth asks for a preferred pronoun or a new name and how staff can most inclusively and respectfully address this
    • Status: In-Progress
  • Create an HR policy on staff medical leaves for medical transitions
    • Status: In-Progress
  • Add the following days to our celebration and social media calendar:Day of Pink, International Day against Homophobia, Trans Day of Remembrance.
    • Status: Completed
  • Add demographic statistics on our youth LGBT2Q+ population on our website.
    • Status: In-Progress

Last Updated: September 18, 2020

Expanding Our Understanding

StepStones has compiled these educational, community, and youth resources to support and inform learning and understanding.