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CPSY 535: Research Methods Presentation

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Bree Abbey

on 27 November 2012

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Transcript of CPSY 535: Research Methods Presentation

There's No Place Like Home: The Plight of LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care CPSY 535 Research Methods Group Project Terry, Whitney, Anya, Bree The Problem Lit Review Purpose: Methodology: Subjects Instruments Procedure Statistical Techniques Time Schedule Budget Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning youth (LGBTQ) are consequently overrepresented in, but under-served by, most foster care systems Our thoughts and reactions: Lit Review Continued - LGBTQ foster youth identify a sense of vulnerability associated with being gay or lesbian in the foster care system. Workers who knew the youths' true identity had a powerful influence over their coming out process, given that the workers could disclose the sexual orientation to others in the system

- Safety emerges as a critical issue for LGBTQ youth, particularly related to peer on peer violence, threats, and intimidation; the presence of weapons and gang activity, and staff violence against and intimidation of residents

- Ironically, most staff working with these youth did not feel safety was a top priority or concern

- Foster parents are severely under-educated about LGBT issues and perpetuate stereotypes, misconceptions, homophobia and active discrimination in their homes - often leading to further victimization of LGBT youth

- There are many suggested best practices (such as non-discrimination policies, cultural competency training for staff and foster families, making spaces visually more affirming of LGBTQ youth, etc.) but there is little evidence of their employment in foster care systems Many (upwards of 40%) LGBTQ youth are rejected by their families of origins, facing homelessness or involvement in the foster care system. LGBTQ youth often become "throw-away kids" - ie little effort is made to ensure their safety or well-being by the government systems or foster families that act as their legal guardians, which is extremely damaging Between ages 12-21
Have an open Department of Human Services (DHS) case for a minimum of six months that is currently managed by the court
Has lived in at least one foster placement in Multnomah County
Will have a case worker affiliated with the teen unit
of one of the five Multnomah County Child Welfare
branches (A Place of Respect, 2011; Grossman, A. and D'Augelli, A., 2006; Youth in the Margins, 2001) The current (and historical) state of LGBTQ youth in foster care is in crisis
Many recommendations for best (or better) practices exist, yet things don't seem to improve - because the practices aren't used
What does this look like in our own backyard? Does this hold true for LGBTQ youth in Multnomah County? Can we address it? -Many young people are in out-of-home care solely because of their LGBTQ status.

- 26% of LGBTQ youth are forced to leave home when they 'come out,' 40% of LGBTQ youth are homeless, and 78% are kicked out of their foster care placements because of their identity

-Youth who lack permanency face significant risks of poverty, homelessness, victimization, social isolation, loneliness, discriminatory treatment and harassment, and physical and sexual abuse

-LGBTQ youth are more likely to suffer from anxiety and mood disordered conditions; they also may be three times more like to attempt suicide

- Transgender and gender non-conforming youth are exceedingly vulnerable and are routinely harassed, victimized and alienated by peers, case workers, birth families and foster families The participants will be youth in foster care in Multnomah County with the following characteristics: There are 660 youth in care in Multnomah County: Sample Goal of 235 youth (35% of population)
Evenly distributed between Child Welfare branches January 2013 - June 2014 Explain purpose of study to caseworkers
Caseworkers give researcher info to youth
Researchers will get guardian consent for minor youth from caseworkers Would interventions addressing these barriers positively impact LBGTQ foster youth in Multnomah County? Research shows that LGBTQ youth in foster care are more likely to: Research also show that there has been attempts to address these concerns, but no research has been done regarding the youth in our county. Our team would like to go straight to the source and hear the youth's voices on this issue. be victims of alienation, harassment, abuse, and isolation
experience anxiety and mood disorders
attempt suicide
be alienated by case workers, foster and bio parents, as well as other support systems Based on the research at hand, our research team hypothesized that LGBTQ youth in Multnomah County do not feel as if their safety, identity, and well-being are valued by case workers, foster parents, the court system, or other members of the Child Welfare system.

Specifically, we believe that LGBTQ youth will have significantly lower self-reports on these items when compared to their heterosexual, non-transgender peers in the foster care system. Hypothesis There are best practices and recommended guidelines for supporting LGBTQ youth in foster care and the staff and families who work with them, but there is little evidence that they are utilized. January - March 2013: Pre-Testing
April - May 2013: Intervention Training
Initial Data Compilation
June - September 2013: Preliminary Post-Testing
October - December 2013: Data Compilation
January - March 2014: Follow-Up Post-Testing
April - June 2014: Final Data Compilation Theory of Change We also hypothesized that youth will self-report an increase of feelings of safety, acceptance and support regarding their identity, as well as an increase in overall mental health, after an intervention of LGBTQ cultural competency trainings for case workers and foster parents. Initial Steps: Pre-Test: Researchers will meet with youth in community
Attain formal consent (youth <18) and assent (youth >18)
Youth will complete anonymous survey
Researchers will compile and code data Intervention: Caseworkers and foster parents will attend training to increase knowledge of LGBTQ barriers (Wilber, S., Reyes, C., & Marksamer, J., 2006) (Jacobs, J., & Freundlich, M., 2006) (Craig-Oldsen, H., Craig, J. A., & Morton, T., 2006) (Freundlich, M., & Avery, R. J,. 2004) (Ragg, D. M., Patrick, D., & Ziefert, M., 2006) (Berberet, H. M., 2006) (Clements, J. & Rosenwald, M., 2008; McRoy, R. & Madden, E., 2009) Funding for this research will come from grants through the Equity Foundation of Oregon and the Funders for LGBT Issues (LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care, 2006) (A Place of Respect, 2011; LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care, 2006; Youth in the Margins, 2001) Preliminary Post Test & Follow-Up Post Test: Researchers will contact youth and arrange follow-up assessments
Preliminary post-test begins two weeks after intervention is completed
Follow-up post-test begins six months after intervention is completed Researchers will compile and code data, then report findings The stratified random sampling method-blind draw of 50% of cases out of each of the five branches and each of the caseworkers within those branches. The goal is to closely match demographic diversity of the county geographically, and racially, with an equal share of representation from each of the branch managers and caseworkers. The newly developed Multnomah Foster Assessment will be the survey instrument for the research.

Analysis of variance tests, to capture multiple means, will be ANOVA. This will allow data
testing for statistical significance at pretest, post-test and at a delayed post-test to capture lag, incorporating multiple predictor variables to discover if our outcome variable, based on our hypothesis did in fact change for LGBT foster youth compared to all youth surveyed. The outcome variable is “do LGBT youth perceive higher support and acceptance from foster parents and foster workers after the training intervention”. Regression testing will be performed to test and verify intervention causality.

Time (3 survey points-baseline,
post intervention, lag test)
LGBT identifying foster youth
Non-LGBT identifying foster youth
Training intervention ` To enable us to capture the most relevant data possible, we developed our own measurement tool in 2012 - the Multnomah Foster Assessment, Version 1.1. We purposively sampled a small group of participants for a pilot test and through statistical testing were able to ensure that our measure had adequate predictive validity. Limitations - All responses were self-reported which may lead to a low response rate and/or variations in survey interpretation

- Cash incentive may influence which youth choose to participate

-Participant's fear of retaliation or distrusting of the researchers

-Limited generalizability because of small demographics

-Simply completing the survey can influence change in thoughts or behaviors

-Because of the longitudinal nature of the study some participants may be unable to complete each post test

- Because we are utilizing a newly developed assessment, it does not have extensive empirical support yet
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