Rusty Johnson

Rusty Johnson will offer a training: Discussing a Taboo; empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered & questioning youth in care, tonight, Aug. 15, at Jonathan’s Place in Garland. Lambda Legal, Jonathan’s Place and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services are partnering to put on the event.

Johnson, a product of the foster system in Iowa, created the training when he was a Youth Specialist at Texas Child Protective Services.

CPS stats show that 78 percent of LGBT youth run away or are removed from their first foster placement because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. More than half of child welfare agencies say they don’t have the information they need to serve the LGBT youth in their care.

“This is your chance to finally address the all too real ‘taboo’ of youth in foster care identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or questioning.” Johnson wrote. “Although very difficult to confirm, it is speculated that the leading cause of suicide of children in foster care is directly related to what many parents and staff refuse to address, ‘the taboo.’ Hear testimony from youth who have struggled, become aware of warning signs and discover what you can do to give these children the same fighting chance as any other child.”

Jonathan’s Place, 6065 Duck Creek Rd, Garland, 75043 in the T Boone Pickens Children’s Services Center, in the Board Room from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. RSVP to The event is free.