Affirmation Project Featured on Delaware Public Media

Delaware Public Media | By Rachel Sawicki
Published June 8, 2024 at 6:26 PM EDT

Jewish Family Services is offering another round of support programs for LGBTQ+ youth and their families this summer.

The support programs, one for youth and one for adults, is called the Affirmation Project and already completed one successful round of meetings.

Clinical Supervisor of Fellowship Becca McAdams says over the 10 to 12 week program, parents work on emotional expression, receive education about queer history and culture today, and learn skills to better engage with their queer kids.

“So we help them communicate in a way with their queer youth that decreases implicit rejection and increases the perceived acceptance and care,” McAdams says. “Which in and of itself increases attachment with their relationships.”

McAdams says it can be difficult for parents to let go of their expectations for their children, but this program helps them to understand why affirmation is so important.

“We know that queer youth are still more likely to attempt or have suicidal ideation,” McAdams says. “And most research shows that with acceptance and affirmation, that is a way that we repair and heal that sensation of not wanting to be here. We want them here.”

About six parents participated in the first round. McAdams says the kids signed up were not close in age to one another, so their experience was individualized. But McAdams hopes as more people sign up, they can offer group activities for youth of similar ages.

The program is online, once a week, with no charge for participation. McAdams notes participants do not need to be Jewish, a member of JFS or use JFS services to participate.


To listen to this report from Delaware Public Media, click here. To sign up for the next Affirmation Project group, click here.