Promoting the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescents in Foster Care
2011 | Download
Adolescence is a critical period of physical and personal growth. As they transition to adulthood, youth experience the social, emotional and physical changes of sexual and reproductive development. Adolescents need support to feel comfortable with their sexuality, sexual orientation and sexual identity; develop positive sexual attitudes and healthy sexual relationships; have autonomy over sexual and reproductive health decisions; and have access to reproductive health care.
For youth in foster care, the changes in adolescence occur in settings where they may lack the support of a trusted adult, autonomy to make decisions about their well-being, or awareness about health care resources. Understanding and supporting this group of adolescents through these changes can help ensure their healthy transition to adulthood.
Addressing the sexual and reproductive health of youth in foster care presents many challenges. Not only is there currently a lack of information to guide the development of new efforts, but the individuals and organization that work with youth in foster care and in health promotion already carry many responsibilities and often have limited resources.
Written by PHI's California Adolescent Health Collaborative, this report provides an overview of how states across the country are beginning to address these challenges through programs and policies, as well as specific recommendations for how California can better promote the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in foster care. Read the report.