A GUIDE TO SOCIAL WORK ADVOCACY FOR TRANSGENDER ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS
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This thesis uses a social work perspective to examine the preventable risks for transgender adolescents and young adults as well as presenting proposed solutions for social workers and helping professionals to implement, in an effort to improve the quality of life for this population. From a systems theory approach, it explores the major environmental challenges transgender youth and young adults face, such as barriers or failures in education, family support, community support, social norms, public policy, homelessness, and mental and physical health care. The goal is to educate helping professionals about these challenges in order to increase awareness of the gaps in resources and shortcomings of the current system. There is minimal research about the challenges faced by transgender youth and young adults, and even less on how to best address their needs. By targeting preventable risks, this paper provides guidance for social workers and helping professionals to more effectively advocate for this population. It is also incumbent upon social workers to identify solutions for each challenge area, in order to effectively advocate and take action on behalf of this under-served population so that transgender youth and young adults can achieve a better quality of life.