Mental Health

Strategies to Support Families with Gender Expansive and LGBTQ+ Youth

Vida Khavar

Vida Khavar

Family Builders by Adoption

Workshop Session #2

9AM - 10AM -

Session Overview

This presentation will highlight the importance of family affirmation in the health of gender expansive and LGBTQ youth and young adults. Health care providers can play an important role in helping family be informed, affirming andunderstand the importance of advocating for their gender expansive and LGBTQ children. This presentation will outline ways to support families with gender expansive and LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) youth. Information on the impact that a child or adolescent’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression (SOGIE) often has on the youth’s daily life, as well the impact that SOGIE issues can have on family functioning. Current clinical research suggests that there are patterns in the way that both initially accepting, and initially non-accepting, families move to places of greater acceptance and affirmation of their children. By strengthening family support, the Youth Acceptance Project believes that gender expansive and LGBTQ+ youth can become successful and happy adults. By using real life examples and lessons learned in California and other states, the presenter will engage the attendees in a meaningful discussion on the need to support families through their journey toward affirming their gender expansive and LGBTQ children. The presenter, who comes with a multi-cultural background and LGBTQ expertise, will specifically address inter-generational and intersectionality issues in a challenging and eye-opening manner. A particular attention to foster care and kinship care will be a focus of this presentation.


Vida Khavar is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has 25+ years’ experience in child welfare. Vida has assisted agencies throughout California in developing and enhancing programs, and her expertise lies in permanency and out-of-home care. Vida was also a consultant for the federal project: RISE, which aimed at improving the lives of LGBTQ youth in foster care. Vida is currently the project director for getREAL California through Family Builders. She collaborates with the California Department of Social Services in developing and implementing new policies for LGBTQ+ children in foster care.