Professional Development

Educational programs set standards and expectations of practice. Professional development strategies can help build the skills and knowledge of staff to meet the evolving needs of diverse LGBTQ communities.

A one-time LGBTQ-focused training is rarely sufficient to result in meaningful changes in access to services. A professional development plan should seek to integrate the concerns of LGBTQ communities into existing training components and focus on institutional barriers that impact access services. A professional development plan can encompass both formal and informal opportunities for skill development, mentorship, and continuing education.

Questions To Ask

  • Is continuing education prioritized by the organization?
  • Are the concerns of LGBTQ people substantively integrated into multiple areas of staff training?
  • Does the organization prepare staff to address the needs of people, including youth, who are questioning their gender identity and/or sexual orientation?
  • Does the organization prepare staff to address the needs of LGBTQ people who are experiencing intimate partner violence, family of origin violence, sexual violence, or other forms of abuse and trauma?
  • Are staff adequately prepared to advocate for LGBTQ people who are navigating bias within the criminal and/or civil legal systems?
  • Do staff receive consultation or constructive feedback about working with LGBTQ communities?
  • Is there a designated special populations consultant (internal or external) for support related to working with LGBTQ people and their families?

Resources & Links

Please check back as we add new resources and links.