Preventing Pregnancy and Promoting Sexual Health Among Youth in Care: Results From the Evaluation of a Training for Caregivers and Child Welfare Workers.
Chapin Hall Report
Dworsky, Amy. Dasgupta, Denali.
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
1313 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
This report presents the findings of an evaluation of a program that provided pregnancy prevention and sexual health training to foster parents, other caregivers, and child welfare workers in Illinois. The program was designed to educate foster parents and child welfare professionals about healthy sexual development, particularly as it pertains to youth in care who have been exposed to trauma and to those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; enhance the ability of foster parents and child welfare professionals to communicate with youth in care about sexual health and engage those youth in discussions about sexuality and sexual behavior; and empower foster parents and child welfare professionals to help youth in care make healthy choices about sexual relationships, delay pregnancy, and prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For the evaluation, survey data were collected over a nine-month period in 2013, beginning in April and ending in December. A total of 44 trainings were held during those nine months. In addition, interviews were conducted with 3 foster parents, 6 child welfare workers, and 5 trainers. Results indicate is that there is a pressing need for this type of training among both caregivers and child welfare workers. Although both groups seem to recognize the imperative of talking with youth in care about sexual health and pregnancy prevention, those conversations often don’t take place. Prior to the training, child welfare workers reported feeling more comfortable than caregivers talking about sexual health related topics with youth in care, however, after the training, those differences had largely disappeared. The report concludes with a summary of the major findings and a discussion of their implications. 35 tables.
ADOLESCENT PREGNANCY; ADOLESCENT PREGNANCY PREVENTION; FOSTER ADOLESCENTS; CONTRACEPTION; FAMILY PLANNING; BIRTH CONTROL; CHILD WELFARE WORKERS; CARETAKERS; PROFESSIONAL TRAINING; STAFF DEVELOPMENT; CURRICULA; SEX EDUCATION; FOSTER PARENTS