Rural Social Workers’ Perceptions of Training Needs for Working with LGBTQ-identified Youth in the Foster Care System

Jean Toner


The article reports on findings from an exploratory qualitative study with rural child welfare professionals concerning their perceptions of services and training needs for working effectively with LGBTQ-identified youth in rural out-of-home care. The study employed focus group methodology with workers from one region of a Midwestern state. Emergent themes corroborated extant research findings, and the three types were (a) an analysis of the current reality of knowledge, services, and training; (b) specific challenges to expanding and/or improving training for rural workers; and (c) recommendations for improving services and  climate for LGBTQ-identified youth in rural areas. Implications for rural social work practice follow a discussion of findings.


foster care, LGBTQ youth, training needs

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