Helpful Resources for LGBTQIA Social Work

The percentage of American adults in the U.S. who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) reached 5.6% in 2020—a steady increase from 4.5% in 2017—according to the most recent data available. While more people are comfortable with coming out, LGBT populations and QIA (queer or questioning, intersex and asexual or allied) populations still face challenges.

Compared to individuals who identify as straight, LGBTQIA individuals are more likely to experience violence and face discrimination in areas like employment, housing, criminal justice, health care and public services. Some examples that indicate the need for LGBTQIA advocacy include:

The role of a social worker in the LGBT community is meaningful. Despite the gains that have been made in the U.S., such as legalized same-sex marriage, the LGBTQIA population still faces adversity and may benefit from social work intervention.

Social workers with a master of social work in roles like youth counselors, therapists, advocates, veterans specialists or adoption caseworkers are likely to serve diverse populations. These LGBT social work resources can help social workers better understand this community, which may face unique vulnerabilities in society.

LGBTQIA Social Work Organizations

  • Family Acceptance Project: The Family Acceptance Project is an education, intervention, policy and research project working to prevent LGBTQIA health and mental health risks in context of families, cultures and faith communities.
  • Family Equality: Family Equality’s mission is to advance lived and legal equality for LGBTQ families and for those who wish to form them. The organization does extensive state advocacy work to drive policy change.
  • GLSEN: GLSEN is geared towards those who work in education, as well as parents and students, to end homophobia in K-12 schools. The organization conducts extensive, original research to inform evidence-based solutions.
  • GLMA: GLMA is a national organization committed to ensuring health equity for LGBTQIA individuals and health care professionals. GLMA works on advocacy, education and research on LGBTQIA issues in the health care field.
  • Human Rights Campaign: The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national LGBTQ civil rights organization. It promotes education and drives policy change through local issue advocacy.
  • LGBTSocialWork.comThis online LGBTQ social work knowledge community provides comprehensive strategies and resources for LGBTQ clinical practice, policy advocacy and research. It also has education and training resources for social work practitioners and social work students.
  • Out and Equal Workplace Advocates: The Out & Equal organization focuses on LGBTQ workplace equality. It has programs, Fortune 500 partnerships, events and resources to advance its mission.
  • PFLAG: PFLAG is the country’s largest ally and family organization for LGBTQ+ people, their families and parents, and allies. PFLAG has more than 400 chapters across the U.S. and provides online learning programs, advocacy support, publications, media training and other services focused on the LGBTQ+ community.
  • SAGE Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders: This organization is focused on older LGBT populations, working on advocacy and providing resources related to LGBT aging.
  • Trans Family Support Services: This organization provides family engagement services, training, education and speaker services that promote a gender-affirming and accepting community.
  • The Transgender Training Institute: The Transgender Training Institute provides training services informed and provided by non-binary and transgender people to benefit non-binary and transgender communities.

LGBTQIA Social Work Books

LGBTQIA Social Work Academic Articles

Information on this page was last updated in June 2021.