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The New Normal: LGBTQ+ Youth Living Through COVID-19 is the title of the virtual symposium put on by the Philadelphia Coalition for Queer Justice & Intersectional Equity, the committee founded by Leigh.

The event is sponsored by Turning Points for Children, a Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) subsidiary, PHMC, University of Maryland Institute for Innovation and Implementation, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence, Health Plan Partners, Pennsylvania Captioned Telephone Relay Service and Compass Consulting. Additional support is provided by Philadelphia Family Pride, Philadelphia Office of LGBTQ Affairs, The Support Center for Child Advocates and The Wilma Theater.

You can learn more about this symposium and see the full speaker schedule here!
This Halloween we're bringing art and creativity to our foster families!

Despite Halloween celebrations looking different this year we wanted to make sure our families have something to look forward to. They
 will be creating clay pumpkin pots during a session with our friends at The Clay Studio via Zoom.
Our LGBTQ Youth are a population that needs technology to connect with important resources. 

Healthcare providers and access to literature about the queer experience are vital for safety and mental health for our teens who identify within the LGBTQ community. 

You can easily give the gift of a tablet to a teen today at our Amazon Wishlist below!
Gift a Tablet to a Youth
Leigh Built a Family and an International Symposium

In honor of LGBTQ History Month we want to share the heartwarming story of one of our Turning Points staff members whose unexpected journey led to the creation of an international symposium on caring for LGBTQ youth.

Leigh and her wife Sophie were not expecting to foster a teenager. They had their hands full with their 8-year-old son and Leigh was a social worker who had never once mentioned fostering.

That all changed when she met Franz. Franz was 18 and had found himself in the child-welfare system after immigrating here from Indonesia and was experiencing homophobia in his current placement. Leigh realized she and Sophie could immediately give him the loving home he needed. She came home and told her (very surprised) wife of the encounter. They met Franz together, and within 30 days he was in their home.

Leigh became frustrated by the homophobic treatment and lack of support for LGBTQ youth and their families.
Leigh and Sophie with Franz and his date to the prom in 2017.
Leigh decided to focus her attention not just on the problem but the solution. With assistance from the Philadelphia Mayor's Office of LGBT Affairs, she formed a committee of professionals who were working around LGBT youth. In 2019, this committee ran a five-month long speaker series of experts from around the country sharing how to support LGBTQ youth in the child-welfare system. It was during this time she joined the Turning Points family as our Supervisor of Curriculum and Training Development. 

This year with the tremendous support of University of Maryland School of Social Work Institute for Innovation and Implementation, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence, Health Partners Plan, PHMC, Compass Consulting and Pennsylvania Captioned Telephone Relay Service, Leigh has expanded the series into an international Two-Day symposium (more information on side panel.)The conference has over 1,500 professionals registered from 50 states, Canada and Antigua attending to discuss and learn best practices for treating and caring for this population.

As for Leigh's family they continue to be a role model for LGBTQ families. Despite Franz having aged out of foster care, his relationship with the family has continued. He considers Leigh and Sophie's son his brother and spends all his holidays in their home. Just last week Leigh helped buy his first car.

Leigh's journey is far from over, but upon reflection she knows she's grown as a mother, an advocate, and as a professional. She continues to blaze a trail for the LGBTQ community and Turning Points for Children is proud to support the LGBTQ+ Youth Symposium.
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