3rd Edition

Social Work Practice with Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth

Edited By Jama Shelton, Gerald P. Mallon Copyright 2022
    272 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This fully revised third edition explores the childhood and adolescent experiences of transgender persons, providing foundational knowledge for social workers and related professions about working with trans and gender expansive youth.

    Organized through the lens of four distinct forms of knowledge – knowledge of lived expertise, community-based knowledge, practice knowledge, and knowledge obtained through formal/traditional education – this text balances discussion of theory with a range of rich personal narratives and case studies. Updates and additions reflect recent changes to the WPATH guidelines and the NASW Code of Ethics, include brand new material examining the origins of gender identity and non-binary identities, explore intersectional identities, and offer expanded content considering trauma-informed interventions and ethical issues. Each featuring at least one trans or gender expansive author, chapters present concrete and practical recommendations to encourage competent and positive practice. 

    With a focus on both macro and micro social work practice, this book will be a valuable resource to any social service practitioners working with children or adolescents.


    Michelle Fine


    Jama Shelton & Gerald P. Mallon


    Jama Shelton & Gerald P. Mallon

    1 Socio-Structural Context of Trans & Gender Expansive Youth

    Bec Sohka Keo

    2 Cutting the Poisonous Roots: Systems Change

    A Conversation with Marc DonesMarc Dones & Jama Shelton

    3 Knowledge for Practice: Case Studies & Research

    Gerald P. Mallon

    4 Social Work Practice with Nonbinary Youth

    Jama Shelton, M. Killian Kinney & Anthony Ritosa

    5 The Chosen Name Process: Developing Gender Identity & Bolstering Support Networks

    M. Killian Kinney & Finneran K. Muzzey

    6 Social Work Practice with Trans & Gender Expansive Youth & Their Families

    Kristian Gamardella

    7 The Affirmative Potential of Sex-Positive Sex Education with Trans & Gender Expansive Youth

    Maggie Dunleavy & SJ Dodd

    8 Trans & Gender Expansive Youth: Emerging Models of Identity Development

    Ryan Karnoski, Ryan Papciak, & Liam Waller

    9 When There Was No Space for Us, We Made a Space: The House and Ballroom Community

    A Conversation with Twiggy Pucci Garçon

    Twiggy Pucci Garçon & Jama Shelton

    10 Trans Youth Are Our Future: Reflections from ARY on TGE Youth-Led Projects

    Aiyanna Horton, Aaron Kemmerer, Justice Valentine & Alex Wagaman

    Advocates for Richmond Youth

    11 It’s Like Church Without the Hurt: Trans Youth of Color & The Black Joy Experience

    A Conversation with Jonathan Lykes

    Jonathan Lykes & Jama Shelton

    12 Existing Outside of Gender: Autism & Gender Identity

    A Conversation with Liliana Vilvano

    Liliana Valvano & Jama Shelton

    13 Mental Health Supports for Trans & Gender Expansive Youth

    Meghan Romanelli, Leah Abay, & Kelly Ancharski

    14 Trans & Gender Expansive Youth & Fertility

    Hez Wollin

    15 Medical Care for Trans & Gender Expansive Youth

    Finn Brigham

    16 Social Work Practice with Trans & Gender Expansive Youth in Child Welfare Systems

    Gerald P. Mallon, Ryan Karnoski, Oliver Stabbe, Liam Waller, & Valentín Sierra

    17 More than a Shelter Bed: Working Towards Housing Justice for TGE YYA Experiencing Homelessness

    Jama Shelton

    Appendix A: Glossary

    Appendix B: Resource List


    Jama Shelton, PhD, MSW, associate professor, Silberman School of Social Work; associate director, Silberman Center for Sexuality and Gender; has worked with queer and trans youth for 20 years.

    Gerald P. Mallon, DSW, LCSW, is associate dean of research and scholarship and Julia Lathrop Professor of Child Welfare, and has been a child welfare practitioner, advocate, educator, and researcher for more than 45 years.

    "This book turns much of what we have been taught to be the ‘evidence base’ about transgender and gender diverse youth on its head, sharing the lived experiences of these individuals and connecting it to a social work context. It contains a delightful buffet of interviews, case studies, research, and more, allowing the reader to more deeply understand the diverse and nuanced needs of this population, while also centering their successes and resilience. An absolute must read for any youth centered practitioners, educators, and researchers." — Shanna K. Kattari, PhD, MEd, CSE, assistant professor, University of Michigan School of Social Work and Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

    "Understanding the unique strengths, resiliencies, and resourcefulness of transgender and gender expansive youth is critical for all social workers. This volume expertly captures the joy and exceptionalism of transgender and gender expansive youth from the lived experiences of those whose knowledge matters most. While the challenges of thriving within a context of oppressive structures are not ignored, these structures are used to contextualize the strength and resilience that result from the joy of authenticity in the midst of these challenges." — Alan Detlaff, dean and Maconda Brown O’Connor Endowed Dean’s Chair, University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work

    "This is a thoughtful book of collective wisdom that will profoundly shape the way that we practice and teach social work, ultimately saving lives. One of the most compelling points of the book is the clear delineation of core principles of the book and the way that this is operationalized through a collection of chapters that feature voices of transgender and gender expansive youth, as well as social work practitioners, and researchers. This book provides a compelling and holistic approach to practice with the population and fills a major gap in the social work practice literature. I will certainly use it in my LGBTQIA+ issues in social welfare course, in my work with youth, and to inform my research." — Maurice N. Gattis, PhD, associate professor, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work