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How The Families in TRANSition program began

February 2, 2023

The Families in TRANSition program started as a natural extension of the work we were already engaged in with trans, gender-diverse, nonbinary, Two-Spirit youth and their families. Over decades of supporting youth, what we were seeing, in many ways, resonated deeply with what the research was showing: that strong parental support can make an immeasurably positive impact on the health and mental health of youth. But where were the gender-affirming services for parents and caregivers of the youth we were seeing?  

 From this question, from deep thoughtful and emergent clinical modalities, grounded community knowledge, and dedicated resource development, came the Families in TRANSition program. With its unique blend of trauma-informed, relational, and gender-affirming principles, FIT has supported hundreds of families to strengthen and bolster relationships between youth and the significant adults around them, particularly in times of identity exploration and gender TRANSition. 

 FIT has been a funded program of PHAC’s Mental Health Promotion and Innovation Fund, and in 2022, we received Phase 2 funding to scale up the program through partnering with agencies across the country to support the development of services and supports for parents and caregivers of trans, gender-diverse, nonbinary, Two-Spirit youth in different geographic communities.  The hope is that this work with families will continue to support increased positive mental health outcomes for a wide range of youth, and also be part of larger progressive and liberatory social, practice, policy, and political changes over time.