Respond by Day 5 to a colleague’s post by offering

Respond by Day 5 to a colleague’s post by offering additional insight about how social workers can work toward assuring the best outcomes for adolescents questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity. Please use the Learning Resources to support your answer.
Colleague 1 – Ashleigh
Today in society, it seems that more and more opinions are populating regarding sexual orientation. Some parents appear to be more open and understanding about a child’s sexual identity and others, especially in a religious view, do not. Obviously, the different reactions to this kind of information can go several different ways and impact youth on several levels. “Adolescence is a critical period during which individuals establish long-term trajectories of health, as youth are solidifying their sexual identities during this period and during adolescence are known to disrupt the achievement of developmental tasks and contribute to negative outcomes” (Goldbach & Gibbs, 2015). “Negative parental reactions to an adolescent’s sexual minority identity can create stress in the home, sometimes resulting in youth homelessness” (Goldbach & Gibbs, 2015). With these negative reactions creates stress for the child. This stress can be brought out in several areas of their life including home, school, and with peers. “Youth who are (or are perceived to be) a sexual minority are more likely to be bullied in school, which has been correlated with high rates of absenteeism, lower educational attainment, depression, and suicidality” (Goldbach & Gibbs, 2015). It has been found that positive support from friends and family can be a positive factor.
As social workers it is always important to be a support for adolescents who are not able to fully process their thoughts and emotions. The 2015 National School Climate Survey (2016) talks about how school policies and practices that may contribute to negative experiences for LGBTQ students and make them feel as if they are not valued by their school communities (pg 2). In order to be advocates for a happy and healthy lifestyle we must support one another. Some supportive resources in schools include Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs), anti-bullying/harassment policies, supportive school staff, and even curricular resources that include LGBT related topics. The more informed we are the more accepting we can be of others.