This Statement May Be Attributed to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services
We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Andrew M., as well as to the LGBTQIA community which advocates relentlessly to protect its youngest and most vulnerable members from such tragedies. State law protects the confidentiality of records for all children and families who may have come to the attention of child protective services, and prohibits confirming or commenting on whether a child or family has been involved with the department. These laws are in place to protect the confidentiality of children and their families. Additionally, we cannot comment on pending litigation.
National data confirms that LGBTQ+ children and youth experience serious adversity and face significant disparities in physical and mental health outcomes, including higher rates of suicide. The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) embraces best practices in all of our work, including that with LGBTQ+ children, youth and families. To buffer the impact of negative external factors, we have aggressively pursued the implementation of inclusive, gender-affirming laws, policies and supportive services for LGBTQ+ youth.
To that end, DCFS recently formalized contracts with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Penny Lane Centers, The Help Group and the Long Beach LGBTQ Center for the provision of LGBTQ+ tailored youth services. Affirming services are intended to uplift a youth’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Therapy, leadership and mentorship programs, crisis intervention services, support groups, training and education also will be provided to youth, their families and caretakers through these organizations.
DCFS remains fiercely committed to strengthening our work in partnership with community organizations for the benefit of LGBTQ+ children and families throughout Los Angeles County.