Access to sexual and reproductive health information and resources ensures that a young person is able to make healthy and informed decisions about their lives and futures. Expectant and parenting youth in foster care face unprecedented challenges with regard to their sexual and reproductive health and rights. There is an urgent need for child welfare systems to develop policies, practices and programs that address these needs to ensure healthy development and well-being for expectant and parenting youth and their children.
CSSP’s compendium of sexual and reproductive health policy and practice guidance, developed through the commitment of a cross-national professional workgroup, helps bridge this gap by highlighting best practices and innovative programs across the country. The three briefs are designed for use by child welfare leaders, caseworkers and youth and are based on nine fundamental principles that all child welfare systems should adopt to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for expectant and parenting youth. These are:
- Be developmentally informed;
- Protect youth confidentiality and privacy;
- Be inclusive and affirming;
- Prepare for the needs of expectant youth in care;
- Pay attention to young men in care;
- Promote father engagement; and
- Focus on youth rights.
CSSP’s new tools are a positive step toward creating opportunities for expectant and parenting youth and their children to succeed and thrive.
Click here to learn more.
Lisa Primus is a senior associate at CSSP.