Thrive is open to adult parent and caregivers (we welcome foster parents, guardians, and full-time caregivers) of LGBTQ+ teens and young adults. Grandparents and other relatives have a different role with our kids. We are happy to offer other resources such as PFLAG for extended family members.
Parents of transgender youth have found this community particularly helpful because we provide a safe, confidential space for parents to discuss personal topics openly with each other. Please read the Thrive Parent Support Group guidelines for more information.
What to expect from Thrive:
- Connection with fellow caregivers through shared experiences
- Support and empowerment from caring, trained staff and fellow parents
- Resources and education
Thrive will relaunch in person on Wednesday, August 9th from 7-8:30 PM in Naperville and will meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays.
Save the dates:
- August 9th, 2023
- August 23rd, 2023
- September 13th, 2023
- September 27th, 2023
- October 11th, 2023
- October 25th, 2023
- November 8th, 2023
- November 22nd, 2023
- December 13th, 2023
- December 27th, 2023
To participate in Thrive, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in the Rainbow Sprouts parent group for parents and caregivers of elementary age children, please contact email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a drop-in center and what will my child do there?
Drop-in centers are community based social space, hosted by welcoming faith groups or other not-for-profits that allow us to use their space for a few hours a week. Each drop-in center meets weekly in its respective location (virtual groups use Zoom), and all Youth Outlook locations follow the same format. Staff arrive half an hour before youth may arrive to set up the space. Youth arrive beginning at 6:30. At 7 pm, there’s a group check-in for youth and staff to introduce themselves, then an activity. Each drop-in center works to tailor the activities to the interests and age range of the attendees, and every drop-in center provides a different activity every week. A drop-in center night’s activity may be a guest speaker, an educational activity, a game night, a movie night, scavenger hunt, an art or craft project, or a topic discussion. Drop-in center ends at 9 pm.
Can my 11-year-old attend?
Youth Outlook drop-in centers welcomes youth who are 12 to 20 and we also have a young adult group for 18- to 24-year-olds. We are currently exploring program models for youth under 12. Watch our social media pages for announcements on new programs.
How do I get my child involved?
It’s helpful to schedule an intro meeting with the program leader of the site your child will attend and for the virtual groups, it’s necessary. If you opt to skip the intro meeting on Zoom, you may bring your child to the drop-in center on its designated evening. It is not necessary to set an appointment. Upon arrival, parents are welcome to request an introduction with the staff who are on-site and to contact the executive director with questions.
How does an intro meeting work?
The program leader will set a short time to talk to your child on Zoom if they’re attending the virtual groups. If in-person, a staff member will speak with your child briefly when they arrive for their first drop-in center visit.
Will my child meet other LGBTQ+ kids?
Yes. Drop-in centers range in attendance from 5 youth up to 30 youth per night. Attendance varies by location.
Does it matter if we get there late?
No, but it helps if we know you’re going to arrive late as it is possible to be locked out of the building.
Can my child attend Transcend and another group too?
Youth are welcome to attend as many drop-in centers as they like, and it is not uncommon that youth visit more than one site.
Do you offer counseling?
Youth Outlook does not currently provide clinical services.
What if my child is not out?
Youth may be anywhere in their coming out and it is not a requirement to be out to attend a drop-in center. All attendees are reminded at each visit that who they see at a drop-in center is confidential.
Where do I find resources for counseling/medical help/name change?
Visit our Resources page for helpful information.