Drawing on over twenty years of child welfare experience and extensive interviews with 54 gay and lesbian young people who lived in out-of-home-care child welfare settings in three North American cities-Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto-Gerald Mallon presents narratives of marginalized young people trying to find the "right fit." Mallon permits the voices of these young people to guide the research, allowing them to tell their own stories and to suggest what is important in their own words. Their experiences help the reader to begin to understand the discrepancies between the myths and misinformation about gay and lesbian adolescents and their realities in the out-of-home child welfare systems in which they live. The first comprehensive examination of the experiences of gay and lesbian youths in the child welfare system, We Don't Exactly Get the Welcome Wagon makes solid recommendations to social work practitioners as well as to policy makers about how they can provide a competent practice for gay and lesbian adolescents, and offers a methods chapter which will be useful in classroom instruction.
Gerald P. Mallon is an assistant professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and author of Foundations of Social Work Practice with Gay and Lesbian Persons.
1.The Road to Acceptance 2. Searching for a Good Fit Within the Family System 3. Searching for a Good Fit Within an Out-of-Home-Care Setting 4. Escaping a Poor Fit 5. Harrassment and Violence 6. A Plan for Transformation Appendix I: A Field Experience in Retrospect Appendix II: Biographies of Young Gays and Lesbians