Intervention Site: Ruth Ellis Center (REC)

Ruth Ellis Center (REC) — Metro Detroit, Wayne County & Southeastern Michigan

Integrating the Family Acceptance Project (FAP)’s Family Support Model into Services for LGBTQ Youth Involved with Foster Care & Juvenile Justice Systems


"The Family Acceptance Project’s work is at the heart of everything we do. Every day, the lives of the LGBTQ youth we care for are infused with hope and promise, thanks to Dr. Ryan’s groundbreaking interventions, programs, research and approach to improve the lives of at-risk young people and their families." — Jerry Peterson, Executive Director


Collaboration with FAP:  Integrating FAP’s family support model into REC services: Providing the first family team services to help families investigated for child abuse and neglect to support their LGBT children; increasing well-being and support for LGBTQ children & youth in foster care; and integrating FAP’s family support approach into other REC services.

The Ruth Ellis Center is a comprehensive social services agency that provides a range of residential, health, mental health and trauma-based recovery services to prevent risk and increase well-being for at risk LGBT and questioning youth in Metro Detroit. Founded in 1999 in honor of African American LGBT youth advocate Ruth Ellis, who starting in the 1940s created a safe space in her home for marginalized LGBT youth, REC has become a national leader in providing high quality community services and care for LGBTQ youth. This includes LGBT young people whose lives are affected by poverty, discrimination and homelessness and who are involved with the child welfare, foster care and juvenile justice systems.


Critical Funding Needed: Help fund FAP’s next family education & intervention video of an African American family with an LGBTQ child


FAP family education videos have won 23 awards

This new video is part of FAP’s award-winning video series that are “Best Practice” resources for suicide prevention and that model how ethnically and religiously diverse families learn to accept and support their LGBTQ children.

FAP’s videos: 1) give LGBT youth and families hope; 2) show how family accepting and rejecting behaviors contribute to risk and well-being for LGBT youth; 3) increase acceptance and support among family members and others in their congregations and communities; and 4) include Best Practice family education materials to prevent suicide and other serious outcomes and increase support their LGBTQ children — even when families believe that being gay or transgender is wrong.

"Powerful family education resources that every family should see."

Trailers for FAP's earlier videos:

Always My Son
Ed was a Marine. When his gender non-conforming son came out to his Mexican American family at 14, Ed and his wife, Elizabeth, didn’t talk about it until a crisis made them realize their son’s life was at risk. A moving story of how one family changed their lives and their community.

Families Are Forever
Tom and Wendy were devout Mormon parents living in a conservative community with five children. Then one day, Wendy read 13-year-old Jordan’s diary and discovered he was gay. What happened next changed their lives forever.