Young LGBTQ Nevadans ask lawmakers for change in foster care

LGBTQ and lawmakers graphic (KSNV file)

Young adults are telling Nevada lawmakers that gay, asexual and transgender kids would be safer if social workers are specially trained to help LGBTQ adolescents.

People currently and formerly in Nevada's foster care system advocated Monday for a bill to mandate such training for state employees and foster parents.

Twenty-three-year-old Allen Johnson says LGBTQ kids are misunderstood and isolated in the system, which is already emotionally taxing and carries increased risk of suicide.

Democratic Assemblyman Nelson Araujo of Las Vegas says talking openly about sexual orientation could increase kids' chances of getting placed in a welcoming home.

The bill would not force foster parents to take LGBTQ kids.

Assembly Bill 99 would also require certain juvenile detention facilities to consider minors' identifying gender and orientation when placing them in treatment.

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