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Symposium Caring for LGBTQIA+ Youth: Developing Inclusive and Affirmative Care

31 October 2019

Project Audre commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child with a symposium about LGBTQIA+ youth in care. The symposium will gather care experienced young people, students, researchers, practitioners and policymakers to discuss the experiences and needs of LGBTQIA+ youth with the child protection system. The team will present the main findings of Audre project, and provide insight on how to create safe and supportive environments in which LGBTQIA+ youth can feel loved and valued.

20th of November from 13:00 to 17:00
Where: Lutkenieuwstraat 5, 9712 AW Groningen (Zaal de Weverij)

Entrance: Free. Limited seats. Register by sending an email to
For whom: Students from Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, Social Work, Psychology and Sociology, researchers, practitioners working in youth care and educational settings, care experienced young people. Language: English and Dutch (support will be provided to follow the presentations in both languages)

12:30 – 13:00 Registration
13:00 – 13:05 Opening remarks by Gary Mallon, Hunter College at the City University of New York
13:05 – 13.20 Lecture by Margrite Kalverboer, Children Ombudsperson of the Netherlands
13:20 – 13:45 Your Silence Will Not Protect You: Lessons Learned from LGBTQIA Advocacy. Gary Mallon
13:45 – 13:55 Audre project, a journey together. Mijntje ten Brummelaar & Mónica López López, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences at the University of Groningen
13:55 – 14:00 LGBTQIA youth in care. Strong and resilient. Kevin van Mierlo
14:00 – 14:15 LGBTQIA youth in care. From tolerance to affirmative practice. Charly Jazbor & Samar Orwa
14:15 – 14:20 LGBTQIA youth in care. Breaking isolation: social support and community. Bjorn Ridderbos
14:20 – 14:35 LGBTQIA youth in care. Q&A with participant
14:35 – 15:00 Coffee break
15:00 – 15:20 Mini-workshop on inclusive language. Emi Howard, Translation and Correction Service at the University of Groningen
15:20 – 15:35 Perspectives of professionals and implications for practice. Rodrigo González Álvarez, PhD candidate at the University of Groningen
15:35 – 16:20 Roundtable with professionals from the practice field. Leo Vincent (Cornerstones), Manuel Pinto (Asterisk)
16:20 – 17:00 Interactive session: Lessons learned and next steps

In 1954, the United Nations set the 20th of November as the Universal Children’s Day with the aim of promoting children’s rights and welfare. On this same date, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). The CRC requires governments to realize every child’s rights to adequate living conditions, health and education, as well as their rights to family life, to be protected from violence, to have their views heard, and not to be discriminated against.

Audre Project: Addressing the needs of LGBTQIA+ youth in out-of-home care

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Intersex Asexual (LGBTQIA) youth in the child protection and welfare system may experience several disadvantages during their childhood. For them, stressors (e.g., discrimination, stigma, lack of tailored services) may add up to the experiences of being placed in out-of-home care. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to create a stimulating, non-discriminatory context, where there is room for the safe expression of young persons´ sexual orientation and gender identity while in out-of-home care.

During the past two years, the team of Audre project has been collecting information about the experiences of LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults during their time in out-of-home care; as well as the perceptions of carers (e.g., group care workers and foster carers) who are responsible for their well-being. Through an innovative participatory research design, youth and young adults have been included throughout various stages of this research project. With the launching of the final research report(s), various people will take the stage to explain how to create a safe and supportive child protection context.

The project is funded by Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Seksualiteit (FWOS). The members of Audre at the University of Groningen are: Mónica López López, Mijntje ten Brummelaar, Rodrigo González Álvarez, Natalia Pierzchawka, Samar Orwa, Charly Jázbor, Bjorn Ridderbos, Kevin van Mierlo, Aniek ter Veldhuis, Elianne Zijlstra, and Hans Grietens.

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Last modified:08 November 2019 08.53 a.m.

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