ETHICS IN CHILD AND YOUTH CARE PRACTICE WITH TRANSGENDER YOUTH

Beth A. Clark

Abstract


Issues that arise in child and youth care practice with transgender (trans) youth and their families can be complex and ethically challenging. While many trans youth are thriving and have strong family and social supports, others face family conflict and experience negative health outcomes linked to societal stigma. The purpose of this paper is to explore how four ethical approaches — bioethics, rights-based ethics, relational ethics, and justice-doing — may be applied to practice situations involving trans youth and their families. This paper is grounded in the gender affirmative model of care and integrates empirical evidence, critical thinking, and explicit argumentation in ethical analysis. Following a brief overview of evidence related to trans youth care, case vignettes are analyzed using diverse ethical approaches. These approaches draw on a variety of philosophical and disciplinary traditions. However, the analyses consistently lead to three imperatives: providing support and affirmation for trans youth; supporting families to support their youth; and fighting injustice where it impedes these goals.

Keywords


transgender; adolescents; youth; ethics; child and youth care; bioethics; social services

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18357/ijcyfs82201716754



Copyright (c) 2017 Beth A. Clark

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

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© University of Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada

 

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