Despite a shortage of foster care families in California, a new bill by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would ensure that unless all potential foster parents are willing to “affirm” LGBTQ gender and sexuality in foster youth, and any gender transitioning, they will be prohibited by the state from being foster parents.
SB 407 “Requires a resource family to have an ability and willingness to provide a family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences to include that of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or plus (LGBTQ+) and gender expansive youth,” the bill analysis says. The bill “requires a resource family, should difficulties around issues of sexual orientation and gender identity arise, that they agree to seek out any and all available resources offered by the county, foster family agency, and other offered resources to meet those needs.” i.e.: gender transition.
SB 407 ensures that “foster youth aren’t placed w/ families hostile to LGBTQ people,” Sen. Wiener tweeted. He claims “30% of foster youth are LGBTQ.”
We introduced a new bill (SB 407) to ensure LGBTQ foster youth aren’t placed w/ families hostile to LGBTQ people.
30% of foster youth are LGBTQ. They’re @ high risk of homelessness & criminal justice involvement.
We must ensure they’re in supportive homes where they can thrive.
— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) March 17, 2023
SB 407 “requires the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to ensure that county-approved resource families are upholding the rights of a child in foster care and meeting the resource family’s responsibility to safeguard those rights, including the right to have fair and equal access to all available services, placement, care, treatment, and benefits…”
Sen. Wiener’s bill analysis states that in 2022, the state’s child welfare agencies received 440,212 reports of abuse or neglect. Of these, 51,806 reports contained allegations that were substantiated and 19,953 children were removed from their homes and placed into foster care via the CWS system.
Wiener’s analysis declares, “for some LGBTQ+ youth, their entry into the foster care system is a result of their family rejecting or mistreating them because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”
During the Senate Human Services Committee Tuesday, Sen. Wiener said foster youth who identify as LGBTQ need protection from physical and psychological abuse coming from non-affirming foster parents.
At the hearing. Sen. Wiener introduced his bill saying, “We want to make sure we aren’t placing these children in homes where there is hostility towards them.”
The “hostile” homes the Senator refers to are religious families.
The bill appears to be designed to flush out any potential foster family practicing any religion which would not square with LGBTQ ideology and/or gender transitioning. During the hearing Tuesday, Sen. Wiener said every foster parent needs to be willing to raise a LGBTQ kid the affirming way the state expects.
Wiener said LGBTQ children need to be placed with foster parents who have the “necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to be parents of LGBTQ youth.”
And because these children may or may not be LGBTQ, only foster parents adhering to the strict ideology approved of by Sen. Wiener will be acceptable in order to affirm them.
“SB 407 ensures LGBTQ foster youth are raised in supportive environments by creating standard documentation for their needs, adding more follow-up from the Department of Social Services, and requiring LGBTQ youth’s needs be specifically considered in at-home assessments – including clarifying that conduct that poses risk to the health and safety of LGBTQ youth is a valid reason to deny a family the right to host a foster youth,” Sen. Wiener says on his website.
“SB 407 ensures that foster youth receive this essential support by specifically requiring LGBTQ acceptance be considered in the resource family approval (RFA) process, creating standard documentation for the assessment of LGBTQ youth needs, and ensuring more frequent follow-up,” Wiener said.
Why does this sound as if Sen. Wiener is designing a state-sponsored program not just supportive of LGBTQ foster youth, but also for for cultivating LGBTQ foster youth? What about the other two thirds of foster youth who ostensibly are not LGBTQ? And where did the 30% LGBTQ foster youth figure come from?
A 2019 article copyrighted by the American Academy of Pediatrics and published by the National Institute of Health reports on a survey which found “More youth living in foster care (30.4%) and unstable housing (25.3%) self-identified as LGBTQ than youth in a nationally representative sample (11.2%).”
The report said “895,218 students (10-18 years old) completed the cross-sectional California Healthy Kids Survey from 2013 to 2015. Surveys were administered in 2641 middle and high schools throughout California. Primary outcome measures included school functioning (eg, school climate, absenteeism), substance use, and mental health.”
The conclusions by the surveyors: “Disparities for LGBTQ youth are exacerbated when they live in foster care or unstable housing. This points to a need for protections for LGBTQ youth in care and care that is affirming of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The study/survey was funded by a grant from the NIH, and links to perhaps hundreds of journal articles about LGBTQ youth.
The California Family Counsel explains in detail Sen. Wiener’s SB 407:
The sponsors of the bill, LGBTQ activist organizations Equality California and Family Builders, believe the current system for evaluating potential foster care parents isn’t strong enough to weed out those who object to their LGBTQ beliefs about gender and sexuality. Jill Jacobs, executive director of Family Builders, explained that the change is justified because of the higher rates of abuse and suicide among LGBTQ-identified youth. The new criteria for foster parents in SB 407 “includes an ability to demonstrate an understanding of the unique needs of LGBTQ youth and a capacity and willingness to meet those needs,” Jacobs testified. “If the prospective caregiver can not meet those needs they should not be approved.”
Nearly 1 in 3 foster kids is LGBTQ. They deserve homes where they’re safe. Sadly, far too many are subjected to homophobia/transphobia.
I’m authoring SB 407 to ensure foster parents, to be certified, are prepared to parent LGBTQ kids. The bill passed its 1st committee yesterday.
— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) April 18, 2023
Someone on Twitter replied to Wiener: “If you were as obsessed with creating a good business environment or lowering taxes as much as you are obsessed with your LGBTQ stuff, you might actually be of value of 99 percent of your constituents.”
Another said, “SB 407 is forcing many foster parents to put aside their own values to affirm ideologies they don’t agree with. Some which lead to mutilation and sterilization of children. The foster parents won’t do this, in order to protect the children, and hold strong in their values. This will lead to less loving families actually fostering. This will lead to more children stuck in the system.”
SB 407, will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, April 25.
Here is video of Tuesday’s hearing:
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