This New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS) LGBTQ policy sets forth guidelines ensuring that all LGBTQ youth and families involved with ACS are provided a safe, healthy, inclusive, affirming, and discrimination-free environment. These guidelines apply to staff at ACS and its contracted provider agencies, including foster care agencies and detention facilities. Included are a glossary of LGBTQ-related terms, and provisions on non-discrimination, staff conduct, addressing incidents, confidentiality, disclosure of sexual orientation and gender identity by youth and/or family members, use of preferred names, LGBTQ-affirming materials, service referrals, staff training, discharge and permanency planning, expectations for LGBTQ point persons at provider agencies, and other topics regarding serving and protecting LGBTQ youth in care.
The policy also sets forth provisions on medical and mental health assessments and services, including medical care specific to LGBTQ youth. The Teen SENSE Model Policies and Standards on comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive sexual health care, sexual health education, and staff training (http://hivlawandpolicy.org/public/initiatives/teensense) are included as appendices, per the recommendations (http://hivlawandpolicy.org/resources/view/797) set forth by The Center for HIV Law and Policy during the period for public comment. These materials are the only guidelines by an outside agency or organization that ACS incorporated into the policy, making ACS the first state agency in the country to implement the Teen SENSE Model Policies and Standards in its LGBTQ policy and practices.