Here is an essential resource filled with advice for providing social services to gay and lesbian couples. Despite myths to the contrary, many gay men and lesbians form long-term couples relationships. Unfortunately, many professionals working in the area of social services lack training with regard to the special needs of gay/lesbian couples. Social Services for Gay and Lesbian Couples helps fill this gap by providing information on diverse aspects of gay and lesbian domestic partnerships for social services workers.
The contributing authors highlight the unique characteristics of gay and lesbian couples relationships and provide valuable information on the special social services these couples may need. Social Services for Gay and Lesbian Couples includes the results of a survey that divulge basic, descriptive information on the nature of gay and lesbian couples. These in-depth statistics reveal couples’perspectives on relationship length, commitment, and quality, terms of address for partners, finances, relationship experience, discrimination, living situation, sex, first meetings, support and challenges for the relationship, children, legal arrangements, and concerns about HIV and AIDS.
In addition to revealing specific information about gay and lesbian couples, Social Services for Gay and Lesbian Couples also explores the therapeutic implications of this knowledge for social service providers. Chapters discuss specific situations in gay and lesbian relationships about which social workers should be informed, such as the factors involved in the formation of lesbian identities and issues encountered by gay couples when one partner is HIV-infected and the other is not. Also addressed are the special needs of gay or lesbian couples who wish to be parents, complete with descriptions of innovative services and the names, addresses, and phone numbers of national organizations that provide resources for gay or lesbian parents.