About the Study

This study is part of my dissertation research project for my Ph.D. in Social Work. I want to find out about how direct-care (a.k.a., "front-line", "paraprofessional") behavioral health workers view lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) issues in youth. I believe that the work of direct-care providers is an important part of helping youth succeed in treatment. The purpose of this study is to create and test a scale to measure knowledge, attitudes, and skills of direct-care workers related to LGBTQ youth in behavioral health care.

This topic of behavioral healthcare provider competency is important to me because I worked as a direct-care provider in many different settings. I worked in the community as a Community Support paraprofessional, I worked in a "level 3" group home in a therapeutic wilderness camp environment, I worked in a psychiatric residential treatment facility, and I worked in an inpatient hospital unit. During these experiences, I saw the important role that direct-care providers can play in a youth's course of treatment. Direct-care workers often spend the most amount of time with kids in treatment, and their roles are vital to overall treatment success.

Also, I am aware of some of the struggles that a LGBTQ youth can have during their childhood and adolescent years. Beyond the normal struggles of adolescence, LGBTQ youth face different obstacles and need unique kinds of support in order to achieve healthy development. While working as a direct-care worker, I observed things around me that both were and weren't supportive for LGBTQ youth. I came to wonder about how direct-care workers could be more supportive of LGBTQ youth in treatment. My curiosity led me to discover that there are not many good questionnaires (a.k.a. surveys) about what it looks like for a direct-care worker to be knowledgeable and skilled in issues related to LGBTQ youth. That led me to create such a survey for my dissertation research.

If you're interested in taking the survey, click here: https://redcap.vcu.edu/rc/surveys/?s=RCIUMcfiDD. If you decide to participate, you can enter yourself into a drawing for one of several gift cards!

Need a flyer to post at your agency, hand out to staff, or put in staff mailboxes? Here's one you can download and print: http://goo.gl/0FQKT0.

Click on over to the "About Me" page if you want to know more about ... me! 

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