Given growing public awareness about transgender and gender diverse identities, it is expected that greater numbers of children and families will seek mental health and social services, including transition-related services, from social workers and other mental health professionals. Transgender and gender diverse children have a range of transition-related needs which require the support of informed practitioners with transgender and gender diverse-specific knowledge and skills. Moreover, the needs and experiences of families and caregivers of transgender and gender diverse children will vary greatly. To date, research suggests a paucity of transgender and gender diverse-specific expertise among social workers and other mental health providers; this seems particularly evident with respect to the needs of transgender and gender diverse children. An affirmative practice framework to guide therapeutic work with transgender and gender diverse children and families is presented. In addition, key clinical practice considerations associated with engagement, assessment, psychoeducation, support and referral are provided. Finally, clinical examples illustrating use of the affirmative practice approach with transgender and gender diverse children are provided.
By Austin, Ashley, 22 June 2017