Department for Education report: Transgender Awareness in Child and Family Social Work

Some evidence suggests childhood gender dysphoria remains poorly understood by social workers. Correspondingly some studies describe parents and children often find themselves having to educate the professionals around them.

This is from the May 2019 report (pdf) from the Department for Education on the adequacy and consistency of knowledge on gender variance in social work training and continuous professional development.

This study seeks to determine whether the current provision of initial education and ongoing training within the child and family social work profession permits a sufficient understanding of transgender issues, in order to provide evidence as to whether additional training materials should be made available in the future.

The report finds:

  • Transgender people commonly report having poor experiences within social and care settings. Accounts of transgender peoples’ experiences of services suggest many professionals lack appropriate information about transgender peoples’ general needs
  • Professionals can sometimes be insensitive to the needs of transgender service users, partly due to a failure to accept their acquired gender. In line with this, transgender people report widespread transphobia within social and care settings
  • LGBT people hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identity when accessing public services. This is associated with concerns about confidentiality, worries about lower standards of care, concerns about the relevance of their disclosure, and fear of a negative and/or inappropriate response from service providers.

Read the full report (pdf).