COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- This Pride Month, Kids Crossing, a local child placement agency, is honoring foster parents providing homes for LGBTQ+ youth.
A 2019 study recorded that 30.4 percent of foster kids identify as LGBTQ+. Because of this large population, Kids Crossing says it's incredibly important to find parents who will commit to creating affirming homes for LGBTQ+ kids.
“This is a major change for them," said foster mom Lynette Johnson. "And to have people that are willing to accept them for who they are, and that are willing to help them and get them therapy and counseling and to the doctor that they need to go to for what's going on for them is life-changing.”
Johnson fosters two children right now, one a transgender child with autism. After two years of fostering kids in partnership with Kids Crossing, Johnson said her eyes are now open to the challenges many foster kids face.
"You don't realize the trauma that the kids have been through, the backgrounds that they come from, all of the counseling, all of the therapy, all of the things that go into fostering," Johnson said. "At the end of the day, it's one of those things where you do have to learn a lot, but it's very fulfilling."
Sarah Bailey, a Recruitment and Retention Specialist at Kids Crossing for the Colorado Springs and Denver area, works to find parents willing to foster.
She said she is currently seeing a large need for families to not only work with kids that identify as LGBTQ+ but be an affirming home for those kids.
"We don't need the families to already know all that stuff," Bailey said. "We will walk through it with them and walk with them to figure out what those resources need to look like and what that child needs in that moment, but just somebody that's open to it and open to helping that child figure that out."
For more information about fostering and Kids Crossing, click here.