Other Special Populations (LGBTIQ, Homeless, Foster Care)

How Can I Support My Child Who Identifies as LGBTIQ?

Children who identify as LGBTIQ are more likely to experience exclusion, harassment, and physical violence than their non-LGBTIQ peers. This experience can make it difficult for a child to learn in school and feel a sense of belonging with their peers. As the parent of a LGBTIQ child, there are many things you can do to support them.

As a Parent:

• Listen to your child, provide words of encouragement, and check in often.
• Educate yourself on LGBTIQ terms and issues. hlgbt.ucla.edu/LGBT101 can be a great resource for this.
• Provide access to a safe and supportive environment with other students. This safe space could be your home or a community organization.
• Respect the privacy and confidentiality of your child. They may not want you to share information with friends, family, or teachers.

As an Ally:

• If your child is being bullied at school, you can contact the school principal, guidance counselor, or a supportive teacher to determine how the school can intervene.
• Research local and school policies. In some cases, it may be necessary to advocate for inclusive policies at your child’s school. Need some ideas for positive change? View this resource for ideas on promoting inclusivity at your child’s school: http://bit.ly/2vD9iZS

How Can I Support My Child Who Is Experiencing Homelessness?

Your child has the right to free and appropriate public education. The law requires states to give educational rights and protections for children experiencing homelessness. All Texas public schools, charter schools, and education services centers must follow these rules.

If your family is experiencing homelessness, here are a few things you can do to ensure your child continues to receive a quality education:

Find out who your school’s homeless education liaison is by contacting your school counselor, school principal, school district, or the Texas Homeless Education Office by visiting http://www.theotx.org/.

• Set up a meeting with your school’s homeless education liaison. This is a person who can provide guidance and resources for your family. Your school’s liaison will assist with your child’s enrollment. If you do not have the necessary documents to enroll in school, the school is still required to allow your child to enroll and then assist you with collecting those additional documents.

How Do I Help My Foster Child Succeed in School?

Research has shown that children in foster care have an increased risk of dropping out of school and are less likely to pursue education after high school. As a foster parent, you have the opportunity to provide stability in a foster child’s life and teach the importance of education.

You can:
• Set up a meeting with your foster child’s teacher. Students who frequently change schools may regularly fall ?to determine if any extra tutoring or support is needed.• Encourage your child to make friends and join after-school activities. A sense of belonging is important to the well-being of children and can help them enjoy school.
• Provide regular access to a trusted adult (teacher, school counselor, case manager), so your child can talk to them about any problems or concerns.
• If your child is interested in continuing their education after high school, it may be a good idea to explore potential internships or scholarship opportunities for the future. Keep in mind that individual colleges or other non-profit organizations may offer their financial aid.
• For resources on how to help your child succeed, visit http://tea.texas.gov/FosterCareStudentSuccess/.

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