SOGIE Data Collection & Model Policies
SOGIE Data Collection
This Implementation Guide provides information on how to collect SOGIE data through the “Asking About SOGIE (AAS)” Pilot developed and tested in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties in Michigan. The AAS Pilot was created by the Ruth Ellis Center and reflects the REC’s goals of creating affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ people while simultaneously advocating for all spaces to be affirming, welcoming, and safe for all people who identify as LGBTQ+. This Implementation Guide presents the lessons learned from implementing the AAS Pilot with youth in Michigan’s foster care system and provides recommendations for other agencies seeking to replicate the model for the children, youth, and families they support.
Michigan’s Child Welfare Department, along with the Ruth Ellis Center, developed and implemented a pilot initiative to collect sexual orientation and gender identity data from the youth in their care. The pilot was called, “the Asking About SOGIE Pilot.” They worked with the National SOGIE Center to create a guide detailing the rollout of their efforts for others to replicate. Download the full implementation guide here. They have also made their training public as a resource for the field to adapt and use in their own SOGIE data collection efforts.
Collecting SOGIE Data in Child Welfare Podcast Series
How can the child welfare system collect and use data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to ensure safe and affirming care for LGBTQ+ youth, caregivers, and family members? Join Angela Weeks, D.B.A., director of the National SOGIE Center, and Elliott Hinkle, B.A., P.S.S., national young adult consultant at the Children’s Bureau’s Capacity Building Center for States. Download this flyer to learn more and check out the list of episodes below.
In this first episode, Elliott Hinkle talks with Angela Weeks and Sonia Emerson, a consultant to the National SOGIE Center on racial equity, LGBTQ+ inclusion, and child welfare. They discuss what SOGIE data is and why it’s important, particularly to young people involved in the child welfare system.
In this second episode, Angela Weeks talks with Jennifer Croessman, M.S.S.A., L.I.S.W., and Kori Sewell of the Department of Children and Family Services of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. They discuss the county’s efforts to safely and effectively collect SOGIE data from young people and lessons they learned along the way.
In this third episode, Angela Weeks talks with Shauna Hines-Lucadamo, M.A., and Ellen Kitzerow of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services. They describe their decade long process to collect SOGIE data and how they used data dashboards to help change the way their workforce thought about SOGIE data collection.
In this fourth episode, Angela Weeks talks with Kamora Dawson, CNP, Lemon Pepper, and Jessie Fullenkamp, LMSW, of the Ruth Ellis Center. They discuss their statewide effort to collect SOGIE data with the Michigan Children’s Services Administration, how they grappled with confidentiality, and the top challenges staff identified.
This guide provides background on the importance of SOGIE data collection and provides some important strategies for others to follow. The guide also provides lessons learned and recommendations for others collecting SOGIE data in public systems.
Allegheny County's report on their system-wide effort to normalize conversations about SOGIE and collect SOGIE among youth and youth adults in child welfare. The report, Moving a Child Welfare System to Be More Affirming of the LGBTQ+ Community: Strategies Challenges, and Lessons Learned, can be a helpful guide to child welfare agencies.
Cuyahoga County’s policy for collecting Safe ID, their method of safely disclosing SOGIE so that LGBTQ+ young people from ages 13-21 can receive specialized services. Please also visit their Collecting SOGIE Toolkit that has been developed to help staff implement the policy and understand how to collect SOGIE data in affirming and safe ways. This toolkit also has example forms that agencies might be able to use.
Cuyahoga Youth Count
The Cuyahoga Youth Count was an anonymous telephone survey conducted in fall of 2019 with youth (ages 12-21) in Cuyahoga County’s foster care system. Cuyahoga County is a large county in Ohio. The survey was conducted by the Institute for Innovation and Implementation as part of the National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for LGBTQ2S Children and Youth in Foster Care. For detailed information on the survey’s methods and findings, please download the The Cuyahoga Youth Count: A Report on LGBTQ+ Youth Experience in Foster Care.
Check out our model policies for guidance on developing and advocating for new policies in your organizations, counties, and states.
LAMBDA Legal, the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and Children’s Rights partnered to create a map which documents LGBTQ+ policies and rights in each state. Visit the In Your State map to learn more about your state’s policies on discrimination, workplace, public accommodations, and marriage and relationships.
A new report, "Safe Havens: Closing the Gap Between Recommend Practice and Reality for Transgender and Gender-Expansive Youth in Out-of-Home Care," offers the first comprehensive analysis of the troubling lack of explicit laws and policies in most states to protect transgender, gender-expansive and gender non-conforming (TGNC) youth in the child welfare, juvenile justice, and runaway and homeless youth systems (“out-of-home care systems”). The report is co-authored by Lambda Legal, Children’s Rights and the Center for the Study of Social Policy.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) developed a model policy for confinement facilities that house transgender, gender nonconforming and intersex (TGNCI) youth – a population that experiences high rates of mistreatment and victimization in secure settings. NCLR and the Center for Children’s Law and Policy collaborated with a diverse group of youth justice stakeholders, including advocates for TGNCI youth, formerly incarcerated young people, facility personnel, and youth justice practitioners from across the country. Together, they produced critical guidance to youth justice agencies about how to meet the unique needs of these vulnerable youth, and to ensure their health and well-being while they are confined.