Rhode Island: Annual Social Workers Event Focuses on Serving the LGBTQ+ Population

Transgender Jewish individual Phoenix Schneider spoke to approximately 100 social workers and other mental health professionals at Jewish Family Service of Rhode Island’s annual event

“Being inclusive and saying that we’re welcoming are two different things; it’s not enough to wave a rainbow flag” and say that we’re welcoming of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning individuals as well as those who are non-binary or gender nonconforming – more commonly called LGBTQ+, said Phoenix Schneider, MSW, a lifelong advocate for LGBTQ+ communities and a transgender Jewish individual. Schneider spoke to approximately 100 social workers and other mental health professionals at Jewish Family Service of Rhode Island’s annual Julie Claire Gutterman Memorial Lecture on April 7. He focused on issues facing individuals and how social service agencies can be more supportive and inclusive.

Demonstrating that you’re an inclusive agency, he explained before his presentation at Ledgemont Country Club in Seekonk, Mass., requires specific steps and a great deal of work with respect to policies, programs and outreach in providing comprehensive services for and community engagement with LGBTQ+ individuals.

As director, LGBTQ Initiative, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia, Schneider is well-qualified to address these issues. His agency was the first Jewish agency to receive the Human Rights Campaign Foundation “Seal of Recognition” for Leadership in Supporting and Serving LGBTQ Youth and Families.

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