Connecticut Department of Children and Families
Oct 9, 2013

Bridges, Barriers and Boundaries: Ensuring Culturally Competent Care

TRAINER:  Robin McHaelen, MSW, Executive Director, True Colors, Inc.

DATE:  Wednesday, October 9, 2013

TIME:  9:45-12:00 noon


AUDIENCE:  DARE staff, DARE Family Services

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adolescents (LGBT) are the only sub-set of the adolescent population which is routinely stigmatized and deprived of support in every major area of life. That these young people suffer the ill effects of societal stigma, isolation, and bias is evidenced by their substantially higher rates of substance abuse, depression and other mental health disorders; suicidality; homelessness; family violence; truancy; sexual acting out and other at-risk behaviors. 

In addition, LGBTI youth and young adults are coming out earlier and earlier – a reality that has significant ramifications for services providers, especially educators, those providing out-of-home care, family members, community agencies and others. Often, youth-serving professionals — however open and accepting they might be — feel little prepared to deal with the issues associated with sexual and gender minority status in our culture – or in their classrooms.  This lively, interactive discussion will offer participants the opportunity to explore the issues; differentiate between personal values and cultural myths or stereotypes which, if unexplored, can significantly impact one’s ability to work effectively with sexual minority populations; assess their own and their office, agency or school’s readiness to effectively serve this population, and develop strategies for providing affirming, culturally competent programs and services to LGBTI youth and families. 

Goals:  Using interactive, small group exercises, experiential techniques and a respectful approach to differences of belief and background, this workshop will enable participants to:

  • Clarify and assess cultural views and values regarding this population of young adults and develop strategies that balance personal beliefs with professional responsibilities
  • Identify issues of risk, challenge and strengths specific to LGBT populations
  • Explore obstacles to the creation of agency environments which protect and affirm client and staff
  • Develop an action plan for immediate, short term and long term activities to ensure a safe, affirming and equitable environment for all members of the agency community


  • Introductions and Ground Rules
  • Opening Exercise:  Impact of Silence
  • Values Clarification and Agency Readiness Exercise
  • Q+A; Next Steps and Close

Location: DARE Family Services, 1184 Burnside Avenue, East Hartford, CT 06108
This event is 4 miles from you (06106).

9:45 AM - 12 PM

Contact: Jeremy Smith
22 of 30 seats still available
Last day to register: 10/8/2013
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