From the Washington Post, August 29, 2016

Maryland officials are taking steps to create a more welcoming foster-care system for gay, bisexual and transgender children and adolescents, including screening homes for possible bias and providing sensitivity training to case workers.

The policy directive issued this month by the state Department of Human Resources prohibits conversion therapy and urges foster parents of transgender children to call them by their preferred pronouns and to allow them to dress and groom accordingly.

“We want to be prepared to be able to support the children along their journey in a way that’s supportive and not punitive,” said Rebecca Jones-Gaston, executive director of social services in the HR department, which oversees the foster-care system in partnership with county agencies…

“They are already traumatized; they have experienced severe neglect or abuse from the people who are supposed to love and protect them unconditionally,” said Ann Marie Binsner, executive director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Prince George’s County, a nonprofit organization that advocates for foster children.

“When they come into foster care, they shouldn’t continue to feel that neglect or that rejection because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity. We should be the ones protecting them from that.”

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