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Searching for LGBT carers: mapping a research agenda in social work and social care

Tentative efforts have been made in UK government policy and through pockets of social work and social care research to recognise how sexuality and gender identity shape the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals providing care to others. In this article, we map the literature base of existing research in the field of LGBT care provision and outline themes of LGBT caring developed from a recent eight-month scoping exercise. Themes were generated from a scoping exercise conducted in England and Wales in which we gathered stakeholders' perspectives, including carers and carer organisations, about future research and problems for LGBT carers through focus groups and semi-structured interviews. We discuss three thematic areas developed from qualitative data: (i) the absent presence of LGBT carers in data collection and monitoring; (ii) the heterosexist responses and heteronormative assumptions encountered by LGBT carers from health and social care professionals, and (iii) efforts to disentangle the needs of transgender people providing care from LGB carers' experiences. To conclude, we identify lessons learnt for future social work research and directions for developing a wider research agenda.

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British Journal of Social Work

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Social care online
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