OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
1) All decisions we make must have as their ultimate goal the improvement of the lives of GLBTQ youth.
2) We are focused on identifying potential resources for GLBTQ youth to create the most comprehensive system of services for GLBTQ youth.
3)We are committed to nurturing and sustaining strong GLBTQ youth serving agencies and programs based on a foundation of strong and effective collaboration with continual evaluation and growth.
4) We have a demonstrated commitment to providing leadership opportunities to empower GLBTQ youth as full participants in the governance of their own services.
The Alliance was developed in response to findings from our community needs assessment to address the absence of comprehensive and coordinated services for GLBTQ youth in Miami-Dade County. Our 2005 pilot study of Miami GLBTQ youth showed that:
- 46% had experienced suicidal ideation
- 23% had attempted suicide
- 57% struggled with substance abuse
- 99% experienced verbal and/or physical harassment
In our 2007 follow-up study:
- Over 34% had been kicked out of their homes between 1 to 7 times
- 72% wanted help dealing with stress, particularly anger management
- 49% believed they lost friends because of their sexual orientation or gender identity
- 66% needed an adult to talk with about GLBTQ issues
- 53% of bullied youth had not told anyone
Additionally, data collected through 2012, report that over 20% of all youth engaged in clinical services at The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth: experience(d) homelessness, are not feeling safe at home, or need a safe place to live. Largely these experiences were not youth’s primary concern to enroll in care, but rather anecdotal information shared through The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth’s assessment process.
Their experiences help development our service focus, and since The Alliance has implemented a comprehensive service continuum for prevention and early intervention to protect the development of self-identity for all adolescents.
The Alliance successfully provides innovative services through a multi-systemic framework that responds not only to the individual or family level crisis, but also to the societal community and policy marginalization of GLBTQ youth. Our coordinated services intend to further develop and sustain our evolving community-based coalition efforts throughout Miami-Dade County.
The Alliance provides program oversight and outcome management of a network of community-based organizations partnering to serve GLBTQ youth. The Alliance coordinated services offered FREE of charge to youth, their families and communities include:
1) Care coordination for GLBTQ youth and their families to provide holistic individualized guidance, support and critical linkage to services;
2) Community-based group counseling and individual counseling provided by accredited mental health agencies or clinicians with professional licensure;
3) Prevention education facilitated by field experts designed to increase community members’ knowledge of GLBT youth issues, identity development, impact of discrimination, and available services provided by The Alliance;
4) Youth enrichment activities for safe socialization, skill-building, and leadership development;
5) Policy outreach to advocate for culturally competent policies that are inclusive of GLBTQ youth; and
6) Scholarly, peer reviewed research on the prevalence and promising practices to advance the system of care.
OUR EDUCATION INITIATIVE
The Alliance is dedicated to increasing the GLBTQ knowledge base across Miami-Dade County, and provides cultural competency trainings and technical assistance to agencies invested in children and families. The education initiative presents a four-module training series focused specifically on applicable skills-building, practice, and protocol development at all levels of an organization.
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