LGBTQ Professional Development Trainings for Youth Providers 


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth face tremendous adversity in a society that privileges heterosexuality and gender conformity. Research shows that family rejection and bullying contribute negatively to LGBTQ youth's mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being, as evidenced by high rates of attempted and completed suicide, violence victimization, substance abuse, homelessness, teenage pregnancy, and HIV/STI-associated risky behaviors. Professional development training on creating safe and affirming systems and programs for LGBTQ youth is vital to ensuring that all youth are provided appropriate and equitable services. Everyone working or living in a system or program, from administrators, agency staff, caseworkers, and foster parents to young people in care, schools, and youth programs, should understand that LGBTQ people are entitled to safety and respect. The following trainings are offered by Odyssey Youth Movement and are intended to provide guidance and tools in creating safe and affirming systems and programs based upon existing professional standards.


Creating and Sustaining Safe and Affirming Systems and Programs for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth and Families

LGBTQ young people have become increasingly visible in our families, communities and public systems. All systems and programs serving youth should assume that some of their youth participants are LGBTQ even if they do not publically disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is important that inclusive and culturally competent programs and services are offered to enable LGBTQ youth to thrive and succeed in out of home care, school, and in youth programs.Each training is tailored to meet the professional development needs of specific systems including child welfare, schools, out-of-school time programs, camps.This interactive, research based training provides an introduction to issues relevant to LGBTQ youth, focusing on building professional competence and includes:

  • Terms and definitions

  • Risks and resiliency

  • Supporting and strengthening families

  • Practical suggestions and best practices for serving LGBTQ youth

Understanding Gender: Working with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Youth

Transgender and gender nonconforming youth face increased rates of serious physical and emotional abuse at home and in public systems. Because staff members are unsure of how to provide respectful and supportive services to transgender and gender nonconforming children and adolescents, they may unintentionally subject them to situations that are discriminatory and harmful. All youth deserve to be safe in their homes, schools, churches and communities and have opportunities to be hopeful and happy. Each training is tailored to meet the professional development needs of specific systems including child welfare, schools, out-of-school time programs, camps, etc.. This interactive training offers youth providers information and tools to provide transgender and gender nonconforming youth with appropriate and informed care and includes:

  • Terms and definitions

  • Clear understanding of the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity

  • Best practice in addressing common issues that come up including bathroom use, paperwork, and use of preferred names and pronouns.


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1121 S. Perry Street Spokane, WA 99202

Drop-in Hours for youth ages 13-18

Monday & Wednesday 3:00pm - 8:00pm

Fridays 3:00pm - 9:00pm

Drop-in Hours for young adults ages 18-24

Thursdays 5:00pm - 9:00pm