Many takatāpui enjoy the love and support of their whānau, regardless of their sexuality. Some whānau struggle. This can result in takatāpui being disconnected from their whānau and wider community.
Like all young people, takatāpui (LGBTQ+) rangatahi in foster care need the support of a nurturing and supportive caregiver and whānau to help them navigate their teenage years and grow into healthy adults. These youth face additional challenges, including the losses that brought them into care as well as other possible traumatic events.
Supporting and accepting your rangatahi’s sexual orientation is important to their hauora. There are a number of practical things that you can do to support your rangatahi.
- Be aware of the needs of rangatahi in relation to sexuality.
- Support rangatahi to retain their identity, increasing self-esteem and building mana.
- Describe how to respond confidently and sensitively to questions about sexuality as they meet them in their role as caregiver.
- know where to find well informed, non-judgemental and accessible support services around gender and sexuality.