The Impacts of COVID-19 on LGBTQ+ Foster Youth Alumni

Micki Washburn, Miao Yua, Catherine LaBrenz, Ashley N. Palmer


LGBTQ+ youth frequently experience disparities in outcomes related to permanency and overall well-being while in out-of-home care. These negative outcomes often persist after youth have transitioned out of care, particularly in the domains of housing, education, employment, and mental health. Initial research has found that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated negative physical and mental health outcomes, as well as decreased economic stability among transition age youth.


This study seeks to determine if COVID-19 has resulted in unique impacts on foster care alumni, and if these impacts are the same for LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ transition age youth.

Participants and Setting

This study used data from the 2020 Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative Opportunity Passport Survey to explore these questions.


This survey was administered electronically to a national sample of 1223 youth ages 18–26 with lived experience in foster care.