A study published in March 2022 by the Journal of Interpersonal Violence found that 82% of transgender individuals have considered killing themselves and 40% have attempted suicide, with suicidality highest among transgender youth.  As more children become comfortable expressing their gender identities at a younger age, the family courts – and all professionals involved with the family courts – are seeing a rise in child custody cases involving these children.  It is critically important for court-involved professionals to be familiar with the range of issues presented by and for these children, so their needs – and their families’ needs – can be met in a culturally competent way.  This session will focus on the range of ways that gender diversity presents itself in minors; the diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents; strategies for supporting parents so they can better facilitate gender health in their children; and the legal landscape and strategies for protecting gender diverse and transgender children from discrimination and helping them access needed care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees with be able to demonstrate knowledge on the scientific evidence concerning biological underpinning and psycho-social development of gender diverse children and adolescents.
  • Attendees will be able to understand outcomes of current treatment models for adolescent gender-affirming medical care.
  • Attendees with be able to analyze the nature of conflicts that can emerge in parental custody disputes involving a transgender or gender diverse child.
  • Attendees with be able to create strategies for working with parents who are in conflict about their child’s gender, applying knowledge about the mental health and physical effects on gender diverse children when caught in parental conflicts about their gender.
  • Attendees with be able to develop strategies for working with an interdisciplinary model (legal, mental health, and medical) in resolving custody disputes involving a transgender or gender diverse child.