Family Support With LGBTQ Children

Diverse SOGIE Training Series: Family Support With LGBTQ Children

FAMILY SUPPORT WITH LGBTQ CHILDREN: This training introduces participants to the Family Acceptance Project's research, which highlights the correlation between caregiver behaviors towards LGBTQ youth and future health and safety outcomes. Additionally, participants will learn about family preservation and the Ruth Ellis Center's approach to working with families of LGBTQ+ youth.

LIVE WEBINAR: Wednesday, May 25, 2022 from 1-4p.m. ET

3 Credits (Social Work) Approved by the NASW-Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative. Please check with your local accrediting body for reciprocity.

Please note that this training is live via Zoom. Please register for the Zoom Meeting once entering the course. This training is interactive and will ask all participants to be on camera and able to interact with other participants through video, audio, and chat periodically. While this is an expectation of the training, we understand that there can be barriers to this type of involvement, please reach out to the trainers at for more information or accommodations.


  • Connect participants' work and sense of purpose to the training material: Building safety for youth and families
  • Why we are covering the material we are (statistics, evidence-based practices, stories)
  • Examining family work in this context
  • Learning how we do the work (language and tools)
  • Sharing different perspectives from our personal lens which affect our professional work
  • Going forward: Resources and the referral process

Who Should Participate

  • Professionals who work with children, youth, young adults, and/or families who have previous introductory knowledge on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression
  • Participants can be individuals who work directly with others or be involved in supervision, management, and leadership
  • People involved in Family Preservation Work would especially benefit from this training, but the content is applicable to many areas of work
Courses in this Series

SOGIE 101 Monday, May 23, 2022 from 1-4 p.m. ET

Inclusive Data Collection: How to Ask About SOGIE in Systems of Care Tuesday, May 24, 2022 from 1-4 p.m. ET

Family Support with LGBTQ Children Wednesday, May 25, 2022 from 1-4 p.m. ET

Gender Affirming Care Thursday, May 26, 2022 from 1-4 p.m. ET

About the Training Series

Ruth Ellis Institute has developed the following training content through researching how adult practitioners, government health and human service employees, and staff at community-based organizations leverage their existing experience to integrate more affirming practices for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.  

The development of this curriculum is embedded within a LGBTQ-specific direct service organization, ensuring that on-the-ground implementation is informing training content. Ruth Ellis’ model connects: 

  • Youth and their families lived experience 
  • Direct practice 
  • Research and evaluation 
  • Coaching and consulting 
  • Policy and regulations 

Content has been developed under two internal review boards, Wayne State University (2015-2017), and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (2018-2021). The Ruth Ellis Institute surveyed over 600 participants through a pre-test, post-test, and three-month follow up to measure SOGIE knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. The curriculum features content where there were statistically significant changes in participants outcomes regarding increases in support toward LGBTQ youth. These two courses are recommended for professionals who have not previously attended a SOGIE and/or LGBTQ youth training. 


Angelika Lewis (she, her, hers)

Education and Evaluation Coordinator

 Ruth Ellis Center

As a coordinator and facilitator, Angelika enjoys collaborating with community, bridging the gap between lived experience and policy, and creating safe learning environments. Her work currently engaged adult learners in supporting LGBTQ+ youth and adults in their care, primarily working within systems such as child welfare, juvenile justice, and community mental health. Previously a direct care worker in fields ranging from early childhood education to community mental health, her work continues to focus on increasing equitable practices that impact the health and safety outcomes of minoritized groups, specifically LGBTQ+ youth.

Jessie Fullenkamp (she, her, hers), LMSW

Director of Education and Evaluation

Ruth Ellis Center

Jessie Fullenkamp, LMSW (she/her/hers) is a Detroit based social worker with over 20 years of experience working with communities facing systematic oppression.  She led the launch of the first Medicaid billable, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) specific mental health services in the state of Michigan. Additionally, she directed the development of four new departments at the Ruth Ellis Center including Youth Programs, Behavioral Health, Family Preservation, and the Ruth Ellis Institute.  Jessie has been instrumental to the implementation of the Ruth Ellis Center's principles of work; harm reduction, transformative justice, positive youth development, and trauma-informed care/healing centered work. Currently, she is leading education and evaluation embedded in direct services, contributing to a world where "LGBTQ youth are safe and supported no matter where they go."

She studied in Kumasi, Ghana and graduated with a BSW from Xavier University and a MSW from the University of Michigan. Fullenkamp lived and worked in the Federated States of Micronesia on the island of Weno, Chuuk. Through Breaking Walls, she served as the Health Ambassador for programs in Santiago, Chile and Tangier, Morocco. Her awards include the YWCA of Young Women of Excellence, the BSW Student of the Year in Ohio, the Xavier University Dorothy Day Medal, and the University of Michigan School of Social Work Distinguished Alumni Award. In May 2020, Fullenkamp delivered the University of Michigan School of Social Work Graduation Keynote Address.