Published in 2017 and developed as a result of the LGBT+ Health Needs Assessment, our LGBT+ Toolkit aims to help public sector organisations improve their practice and outcomes for LGBT+ people:
LGBT Toolkit (PDF)
Whether you work in the health, social care, housing, education, policing or any other sector, use the Toolkit to understand how ‘LGBT+ friendly’ your organisation is, and set objectives to achieve outcomes that are relevant for your service.
Use the information, glossary and terminology sections for staff training/awareness raising. After reading the Toolkit you should have a good understanding of LGBT+ people’s needs and expectations!
Feel free to raise awareness of the Toolkit with colleagues!
LGBTQ Young People resources
If you are aware of useful guidance or organisations that can work with young people/service providers in Devon please do let us know.
X-Plore Youth Group provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ young people to meet in Exeter and North Devon. Their website has some great resources.
Proud2Be run a Youth Group in Totnes and work with a number of schools in the area on training/awareness raising.
Early Help for Mental Health is a service commissioned by the County Council providing face-to-face and online counselling (via Kooth) as well as resources to support young people. We know that LGBTQ+ young people are at a higher risk of mental health problems and, working with X-Plore Youth Group, provided feedback to the service to ensure it is “LGBTQ+ friendly.”
The Intercom Trust is a member of the County Council’s Equality Reference Group which acts as a ‘critical friend’ to the authority. They run a Helpline and LGBT+ surveys/engagement, provide training, resources, have a directory of LGBT+ organisations, and support LGBT+ organisations.
Transfigurations runs support groups for transgender people of all ages – as well as the parents of trans children and young people (based in Torbay but providing support beyond the bay).
Transunite run a national directory of Trans and non-binary support groups.
The Intercom Trust have developed a very popular guide on supporting Trans Pupils in Schools. Although developed in Cornwall it can be used anywhere.
Briefing for school governors: how to support transgender pupils
LGBTQ+ inclusive Sex and Relationships Education policy and report 2016/17, written by Taylor Simmonds (16 yrs), a member of X-Plore LGBTQ+ Youth Group in Devon
Care Homes Toolkit and Adult Social Care resources
Age UK have published a guide on meeting the needs of older LGBT people in health and social care called Safe To Be Me. Like the DCC LGBT Toolkit, it provides a range of relevant information and a checklist.
The Intercom Trust and George Coxon (Classic Care Homes and Devon Dementia Quality Kite Mark Steering Group Chair) have developed some resources for Care Homes to become ‘LGBT friendly’. This project was funded by Public Health Devon.
Care home resources:
Poster – display the poster to show a visible commitment to LGBT equality and inclusion.
Service user feedback and Staff feedback – use these feedback forms to gain an understanding of how ‘LGBT friendly’ your Care Home environment is. You can then use the feedback as a basis for opening up a discussion about how to make the Care Home more LGBT friendly and/or celebrate areas of good practice, building any improvement actions into your business plan. You may find it helpful to assign lead responsibility to LGBT equality to a member of the management team and to purchase the services of a trainer, agency or consultant to help with improvements.
Social Care Institute for Excellence: LGBTQI and disabled people – personal assistants and support workers
Objectives at a glance (all organisations)
Pledge: We want lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT+) people to have trust and confidence in us when they use our services.
Outcomes Objectives Staff treat LGBT+ people with dignity and respect, as individuals and according to their needs. Make LGBT+ dignity, respect and equality visible in staff development or supervision activities, staff competencies, customer service and employment policies. This could include:
- Reflecting a ‘No pressure to stay In. No pressure to come Out’ philosophy.
- Ensuring staff are aware of appropriate and inappropriate language, including body language.
- Ensuring staff know to ask people what their needs are and how they want to be treated and addressed.
- Encouraging all staff to challenge poor attitudes and actions including homophobic/transphobic/biphobic language or otherwise offensive terms or behaviour.
- Using the term “partner” instead of husband/wife (unless it is known that an individual has a husband or wife).
- Challenging assumptions and ‘heterosexism’. In particular, to not make assumptions about what kind of lifestyle LGB or trans people may be familiar with, not defining people by sexual behaviour or making assumptions about sexual practice, and ensuring staff do not assume that LGBT+ people don’t have children or families.
Staff treat information about LGB or T identity as sensitive and private and only share with consent.
Enforce policies which deal with confidentiality of client information and data.
Ensure relevant staff understand the protections offered by a Gender Recognition Certificate.
The needs of LGBT+ people are understood.
Collect or refer to robust information/data such as needs assessments and research about LGBT+ people.
Ensure service user data collection and monitoring follows best practice standards, Data Protection law, and explains why people are being asked to provide information.
Design customer feedback systems in consultation with LGBT+ stakeholders and allow for friends/family to provide feedback.
Increase visible representation of LGBT+ people on participation forums and involvement in co-designing services.
Gender segregation of facilities/activities only takes place where it is necessary or unavoidable.
Review the need for gender segregated facilities such as toilets and gender based activities, in consultation with all stakeholders.
Put in place provisions to accommodate trans people, non-binary people, and others who identify as gender-variant (or similar).
The barriers experienced by LGBT+ service users are understood, regardless of whether they are Out or not.
Provide people with the option to complain about LGB/T discrimination anonymously.
Check policies do not result in direct or indirect discrimination of LGBT+ people.
There is continuous learning and action to improve outcomes for LGBT+ people.
Set equality objectives and targets, auditing and measuring against outcomes.
Ensure that equality (including LGBT+) is included in staff performance reviews and training/development.
Identify and take positive action where needed.
Objectives for health and social care (including GP practices, sexual health services, mental health and midwifery)
LGB people have confidence accessing sexual health services for advice and screening, and LGB sexual health is good.
Ensure that LGBT+ population profiles, and same sex behaviour, identity and risks, are widely understood through improved training/access to appropriate resources.
(Mental health practitioners and managers can enrol on Intercom’s online training package for mental health practitioners (www.intercomtrust.org.uk/training).
Improve our understanding of HPV oral, anal, vaginal and penile cancers and how they can pass between LGB people.
Ensure there is widespread understanding of the sexual health needs and concerns of trans+ people.
Deliver cervical screening services to LGB women and intersex people according to need.
Deliver prostate care as needed to trans women, and make sure this is in a medical environment which is suitable for LGBT+ needs, for example, not making trans women uncomfortable in a predominantly male environment.
Take positive action to reach LGBT+ people through targeted campaigns.
Trans people are supported from the early stages of identification.
Ensure GPs are able to identify and support young people with gender dysphoria through improved training and access to appropriate resources.
Be aware of organisations that can provide appropriate support.
LGBT+ couples have a positive experience of childbirth/ante-natal care. Include LGBT+ awareness in midwifery training and development. The experience of LGBT+ people is understood. Develop appropriate monitoring for LGBT+ patient experience in consultation with LGBT+ stakeholders, with options for anonymised confidential service user feedback and feedback through friends and family and community resources.
LGBT+ people’s needs are understood and met in mental health provision.
Work towards an increase in LGBT+ mental health provision initially with specialists, subsequently helping to develop mainstream/generic practice.
Target promotion/prevention for mental health that is relevant for LGBT+ people.
Provide a choice of service providers.
Internalised homophobia and the impact LGB/T phobias on mental health is understood and identified. Provide training/information on the impacts of internalised homophobia, gender dysphoria and external LGBT+ phobias on mental health to practitioners, including GPs. LGBT+ people do not experience social isolation in care settings. Support LGBT+ service users in residential settings to meet with other LGBT+ people, and ensure the care environment is seen to be actively and widely positive for LGBT+ people as well as for all other minorities.
There are good generic ‘LGBT friendly’ Care Homes/Home Care, and choice for specialist provision where there is evidence of demand*.
*e.g. gay care home
Build outreach/positive action into contracts to allow for bespoke specialist or generic LGBT+ access to Care Homes/Domiciliary Care provision.
Care Homes use the LGBT Care Homes Toolkit developed by the Intercom Trust and Classic Care Homes Ltd.
There is sensitive matching of a care provider/worker to an LGBT+ client Ensure Care Plans/Safeguarding Assessments and Social Workers are able to pick up on LGBT+ needs sensitively and confidentiality, to allow for sensitive matching of a paid carer and appropriate support. LGBT+ people’s needs are met through commissioned social/health care services.
Include sufficient detail about LGBT+ profiles in the Needs Assessment to help shape the Market Position Statement and commissioning across the health and social care sector.
Explore joint, longer term, outcomes-based commissioning arrangements for community led LGBT+ support services (commissioning partners across the south west).
Objectives for education and children's services
There are visible LGBT+ Role Models for children and young people.
Create a culture of openness and acceptance where LGB teachers/staff are confident to be Out; led by the Head Teacher/manager and senior team.
Fully support a member of staff if they undergo gender re-assignment with positive attitudes and explanation throughout the school/service environment.
Ensure resources (books, visitors etc.) present a positive image of LGBT+ people, and challenge assumptions that growing up LGB or trans+ is in some way a choice or preference.
Homophobia and Transphobia is actively challenged.
Ensure schools and other establishments have sufficient Bullying and Prejudice Related Incident reporting procedures in place. Report and take action when an incident arises. Share data with the local education authority.
Establish Gay-Straight Alliances where possible.
Ensure there is a named person for leading on LGBT+ equality.
LGBT+ equality and respect is promoted.
Display information and policies that promote positive inclusivity of LGBT+ staff and pupils/young people. Reflecting a ‘No pressure to stay In. No pressure to come Out’ philosophy.
Include LGBT+ equality objectives in School Development Plans/service plans.
Monitor effectiveness of school/service policies through anonymised surveys and discussion as part of Governors meetings.
LGBTQ+ children, young people and families are signposted to other sources of support where needed.
Make information available to parents to help them support their children.
Signpost pupils/young people to specialist LGBTQ+ youth groups.
Parenting classes provide advice to parents on how to support a child who may grow up LGBTQ+.
All young people are informed about LGB sex and relationships and are confident to ask for advice.
Ensure Sex and Relationships Education is inclusive and covers same-sex relationships positively. SRE should address safer-sex and health-risks for all, not only for those pupils who are heterosexual.
Provide Teachers with appropriate training to deliver same-sex SRE education competently and confidently.
Ensure services to young people (including Youth Services, School Nurses and Counsellors) are aware of the developmental issues around growing up LGBTQ+, including risk taking behaviours, and can advise supportively, appropriately and respectfully, or refer to appropriate agencies.
Signpost young LGBQT+ people to LGBTQ+ social groups (for example, youth clubs) so that they can have age-appropriate relationships and seek information.
Gender Dysphoria is recognised and children and families are provided appropriate support.
Have a policy on how to support a child with Gender Dysphoria and train key staff in recognising it.
Ensure key staff understand that children as young as 3 or 4 may be living with a degree of gender conflict, particularly if they were born with gender dysphoria.
Be aware of the professional Schools Transgender Guidance published by The Intercom Trust, which was developed in partnership with police, Head Teachers, and Cornwall Children’s Services. This guidance document is cited by the Department for Education as national good practice.
Objectives for police, crime and community safety services
Outcomes Objectives LGBT+ Hate Crime/Incidents are reported, monitored and action is taken to stop repeat offences.
Ensure LGBT+ Hate Crime and Incident data is collected, monitored, published publicly and shared with stakeholders.
Publish information about convictions and support provided to victims.
Develop further trust and confidence with LGBT+ people, and specifically encourage awareness of a range of ways of seeking help against, and reporting, homophobic transphobic and biphobic crimes and incidents.
Society understands that phobic comments are not acceptable.
Public figures speak out against phobic attitudes.
Carry out campaigns to raise awareness of the issues.
Crimes (e.g. domestic violence and abuse, alcohol-related crimes) that involve an element of (or are caused as a result of) Internalised Homophobia / Transphobia / Biphobia are identified and addressed with the right support.
Ensure Internalised Phobia is understood by officers, and those offending or at risk of offending are supported and signposted to mental health support services that are appropriately skilled in risk-assessing and supporting people who may be living with Internalised Phobia*.
*this is where a person who is LGBTQ+ hates themselves for having this orientation or gender identity.
Objectives for partnerships
Outcomes Objectives Collectively, there is a shared understanding between services of the needs of LGBT+ people.
Health and Wellbeing Boards champion issues and use their influence to initiate change, holding people and organisations to account.
Protocols for data sharing are agreed.
Pathways between services that holistically support the needs of LGBT+ people are clear.
Map services and gaps that lead to better ‘joining up’.
There is a ‘One Stop Shop’ of information on LGBT+ services across all sectors.