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OCYA report: Children’s Services minister responds

Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Special Report Speaking OUT, released today:

“We thank the Advocate for taking the time to thoughtfully engage with vulnerable LGBTQ2S+ youth across the province, and for his valuable recommendations highlighting opportunities to strengthen the ways we support these young people through challenging circumstances.

“We agree that we must always look for ways to better support LGBTQ2S+ youth. That’s why our government introduced and passed Bill 24, to protect students in gay-straight and queer-straight alliances, and why we created new Youth and Housing Shelter Guidelines that recognize the unique challenges that LGBTQ2S+ youth at risk of homelessness face. We are so proud to be able to say that Alberta is a leader in this area and will continue to look for ways to lead.

“In Children’s Services, work is currently underway to enhance staff and caregiver training in ways that better support the needs of LGBTQ2S+ children and youth. The Ministry of Justice also has policies in place to ensure these youths’ needs are met at young offender centres, requiring the use of preferred names and pronouns, training for correctional staff, self-identified gender-based placements and a focus on promoting safety by listening to youth.

“These recommendations will play an important role in our ongoing work with community partners to create safe, inclusive communities where all children and youth are welcome, supported and loved. The Advocate has been and will continue to be a critical partner in this work.”

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