Teen SENSE Model Standards: Focusing on the Needs of Youth in State Custody is designed to ensure that all staff of foster care, detention, and other government-operated and -regulated youth facilities are equipped to understand and protect the health and well-being of all youth, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The standards are not a curriculum; rather, they are intended to help facility directors and trainers identify the necessary components and objectives of appropriate programming. Under the standards, staff should be able to identify the effects of stigma and discrimination on the health of LGBTQ youth or youth with HIV; understand their responsibility to provide comprehensive, inclusive physical and mental health services to all youth; maintain a safe and accepting atmosphere; and ensure access to services and activities consistent with LGBTQ youth's interests and communities with which they identify. Staff should also be aware of and abide by laws, policies, and reporting procedures established to support and protect youth in their care.
The standards are divided into several sections, including: Core Components of Comprehensive Staff Training Programs, Content Areas, and Educational Objectives.
The standards are designed to apply to youth facility staff at every level, including caseworkers, medical service providers, security personne, and probation officeres.
The appendix provides supplemental information on sexuality and health relationships, sexual orientation, and gender roles and identity.