Meeting the needs of GLB youth in residential care settings: A framework for assessing the unique needs of a vulnerable population

Rebecca G. Block, John D. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article explores uses for strengths-based assessment of gay, lesbian and bisexual youth in residential care. Gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) youth face unique challenges such as stigma management and disclosure. In addition, GLB youth are also at increased risk for drug use, suicide and unprotected sex. Consequently, the needs of GLB youth differ upon entering residential care. Using the strengths perspective offers a variety of techniques and strategies for advancing efficacy and efficiency of assessment for GLB youth entering residential care. Applying the strengths perspective to the assessment process seeks to increase the level of empowerment experienced by the youth, enhance rapport building between client and clinician and providing an introduction into residential care that is client-centered and client driven. The pivotal nature of assessment in serving and treating youth in residential care make it a natural target for improved service delivery to GLB youth. Because of this population's experiences with stigma, oppression, internalization of hatred and resultant damage to self-esteem, working from a strengths perspective is especially relevant to clinicians and other service providers. Strategies for the process of the assessment, as well as the content of the assessment based on the strengths perspective speak to feelings of loneliness and isolation, and the need to manage disclosure, which are common experiences for GLB youth. In this exploration of application of the strengths perspective in assessment of GLB youth entering residential care, recommendations for both assessment process and content are made. A case example illustrating the use and application of these recommendations is also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-199
Number of pages19
JournalResidential Treatment for Children and Youth
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 12 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Gay
  • Lesbian bisexual
  • Residential treatment
  • Strengths perspective
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Meeting the needs of GLB youth in residential care settings: A framework for assessing the unique needs of a vulnerable population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this