Volume 89, Number 6

December 2014

A Room of One’s Own: Safe Placement for Transgender Youth in Foster Care

Ariel Love

Transgender youth in foster care are not safe. While these youth face the daily danger of physical violence at the hands of others in their foster care group homes, administrators of child welfare services have shown deliberate indifference to these risks, and staff in foster care group homes do not effectively protect the physical safety of transgender youth in their care. Because resource constraints make it impossible to place all transgender youth in LGBTQ-only group homes, we need a solution that will make transgender youth safe in the group homes that already exist. This Note argues that the current New York City foster care system violates the substantive due process safety rights of the transgender youth under its care, and proposes legislation that would presumptively mandate transgender-only bedrooms and bathrooms. Such legislation would provide safe spaces within existing group homes in order to fix current constitutional violations.