Working with LGBTQIA+ youth in the child welfare system: Perspectives from youth and professionals


Mónica López López, University of Groningen ; Rodrigo González Álvarez, University of Groningen ; Mijntje ten Brummelaar, University of Groningen; Kevin R.O. van Mierlo; Leo Wieldraaijer-Vincent


Written through a constant exchange between LGBTQIA+ young people, researchers, professionals and foster families, this book offers a valuable tool to improve the practice with LGBTQIA+ youth at a personal, organizational, and policy level.

This book shows the powerful influence of relationships and networks for the LGBTQIA+ young person growing up in child protection and welfare systems. LGBTQIA+ youth need meaningful connections with individuals within their communities in order to be able to heal, learn, and be authentically themselves.

Child welfare professionals have a crucial role in creating these connections and cultivating supportive environments, free of additional trauma, where LGBTQIA+ young people can feel valued and loved.

Cover design / Typesetting: LINE UP boek en media bv | Riëtte van Zwol and Mirjam Kroondijk

Cover illustration © Shekakaka |

Publisher: University of Groningen Press,

Broerstraat 4, 9712 CP Groningen

Production support: LINE UP boek en media bv

The softcover version of this book (ISBN: 9789403429311) can be ordered via Print on demand directly on the site of our partner  Uitgeverij kleine Uil, and through all regular (internet) bookshops.

International shipping is possible via Amazon.

This publication is peer reviewed

The Audre Project Collective (alphabetical order): Mijntje ten Brummelaar,Rodrigo González Álvarez, Emi Howard, Mónica López López, Gary Mallon, Samar Orwa, Natalia Pierzchawka, Bjorn Ridderbos, Charly Ros, Selena Torsius, Kevin van Mierlo, Daylano Verwer, Leo Wieldraaijer-Vincent and Skye Wijkstra


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Author Biographies

Mónica López López, University of Groningen

Mónica López López, is an associate professor at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Her research interests include disparities in child protection decisions, the participation of children and families in decision-making processes, and the experiences of LGBTQIA+ youth in care. She is a board member of the European Scientific Association on Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF).

Rodrigo González Álvarez, University of Groningen

Rodrigo González Álvarez is a Mexican queer cisgender PhD candidate at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Rodrigo obtained his bachelor in Psychology at the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM) and moved to the Netherlands to follow his graduate studies. Rodrigo studies the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth in out-of-home care, with a special focus on resilience.

Mijntje ten Brummelaar, University of Groningen

Mijntje ten Brummelaar works at Cornerstones Youth Care and at the University of Groningen. Her projects focus on children’s participation in decision-making, participatory research practices in out-of-home care, and LGBTQIA+ youth in care.

Kevin R.O. van Mierlo

Kevin van Mierlo, who has lived in out-of-home care in the Netherlands, is a Master student in Political Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. His academic background lies in Religious Studies in Tilburg, the Netherlands. During his undergrad, Kevin completed a research assistantship within the project Audre at the University of Groningen.

Leo Wieldraaijer-Vincent

Leo Wieldraaijer-Vincent grew up in foster care, has been a foster carer and is now the Director of Cornerstones Youth Care, a professional foster care organization. He has an MA Equality and Diversity, BSc (Hons) International Studies and Economics, and he is a qualified teacher. Since 2020 he is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and is an international researcher linked to a number of universities focusing on youth care and intersectionality. He is the author of Raising the Village: A Framework for Wellbeing and Resilience.

Cover working with LGBTQIA+ youth in the welfare system



October 20, 2021



LGBTQIA youth, Child protection, Child welfare, Social Work

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