Family Acceptance and LGBTQ Youth

It hard to overestimate the importance of family support for LGBTQ youth. Family acceptance has been shown to help prevent negative outcomes for LGBTQ youth, and contribute to positive outcomes of LGBTQ youth.  It isn't parents and families deciding "gay is okay," but rather certain behaviors which help to support mental health and wellness, academic success and reduced risk of STI and illegal drug use.  Read more at

Family Acceptance Project booklets and films are designated Best Practices for suicide prevention for youth. Incorporating recommendations for the Family Acceptance Project help to improve outcomes in a variety of settings including church, school, provider, home and many others.  

Read some of the many articles, briefs and studies from the project linked below.

Groundbreaking Research on Family Rejection of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Adolescents Establishes Predictive Link to Negative Health Outcomes

For the first time, researchers have established a clear link between rejecting behaviors of families towards lesbian, gay and bisexual adolescents and negative health problems in early adulthood

Published in the January 2009 issue of Pediatrics, journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.


A Practitioner’s Resource Guide: Helping Families to Support Their LGBT Children

written by Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW

First practice guidelines for engaging diverse families to decrease their LGBT children’s risk for suicide, homelessness, HIV and other negative outcomes and to promote well-being, based on research and core principles from the Family Acceptance Project

Published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HHS

Family Acceptance of LGBT Youth Protects Against Suicide, Depression & Substance Abuse and Predicts Better Health & Self-Esteem

School Bullying, Violence Against LGBT Youth Linked with Suicide Risk, HIV & STDs in Young Adulthood

School Victimization of Gender-Nonconforming LGBT Youth Linked with Depression and Quality Of Life In Adulthood

Gay-Straight Alliances in School Benefit Health, Education of LGBT Young Adults


Policy & Practice Guidelines

Best Practice Guidelines for Serving LGBT Youth in Out-of-Home Care

First guidelines for policy and practice for serving LGBT youth in child welfare and juvenile justice settings. Written by experts in the field and published by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) as part of their Best Practices series, this book is based on the work of the Model Standards Project and research from the Family Acceptance Project informed and framed the guidelines.

Practice Brief
This practice brief was developed for families, caretakers, advocates, and providers to:

• Provide basic information to help families support their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children;

• Share some of the critical new research from the Family Acceptance ProjectTM (FAP) at San Francisco State University. This important new research shows that families have a major impact on their LGBT children’s health,

mental health, and well-being; and


• Give families and LGBT youth hope that ethnically, religiously, and socially diverse families, parents, and caregivers can become more supportive of their LGBT children.

Caitlin Ryan's Story from The Let Love Define Family Series
An astounding 40 percent of homeless youth are believed to be LGBT. This week’s Huffington Post Gay Voices RaiseAChild.US “Let Love Define Family™” series installment looks at how families and foster families can help these youth. We spoke with Caitlin Ryan, Ph.D., ACSW, director of the Family Acceptance Project in San Francisco, CA, to learn what can be done to keep families with LGBT children together and to help reconnect families when LGBT youth have been ejected or removed from the home.