Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Smith, Laurie


The study conducted interviews to measure the level of competency social workers have assisting members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, and asexual community (LGBTQIA+) using a qualitative exploratory research design. Data was collected from nine social workers from the United States of America. Key findings indicated the participants generally did not feel competent to work with this community, particularly transgender persons. Training at work, through school, or learned on their own about serving LGBTQIA+ clients were generally limited in scope. Lastly, findings on what the participants thought the specialized needs of the transgender population were ranged from more education, quality mental health services, and access to health care. Recommendations include agencies requiring yearly mandatory LGBTQIA+ training, utilizing affirmative and trauma informed care, and the hiring and supporting of queer social workers to increase visibility in the field.

Included in

Social Work Commons