Cabrini_Symposium Presentation 2012


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Oral presentation of ECG 100 research project, presented at Cabrini College\'s 6th Annual Arts, Research, and Scholarship Symposium.

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  • Source: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy: “Why It Matters: Teen Pregnancy and Child Welfare”. Published: August 2010. (
  • Source: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy: “Why It Matters: Teen Pregnancy and Child Welfare”. Published: August 2010. (
  • Source: Lois Theissen Love, Jennifer McIntosh, Michael Rosst, and Kristen Tertzakian: Fostering Hope: Preventing Teen Pregnancy Among Youth In Foster Care. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. (2005)
  • Source: University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work: “Independent Living Project”. Retrieved on 20 Apr. 2012. (
  • Source: University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work: “Independent Living Project”. Retrieved on 20 Apr. 2012. (
  • Source: University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work: “Independent Living Project”. Retrieved on 20 Apr. 2012. (
  • Source: Personal Interview with Julia A. Sullender, ILP Supervisor for Delaware County Children and Youth Services (CYS). 15 Apr. 2012.
  • Cabrini_Symposium Presentation 2012

    1. 1. “An Examination of Sexuality Educationand Pregnancy Prevention Programming for Foster Youth in Delaware County, Pennsylvania” Danielle M. Jones Thursday, 26 April 2012
    2. 2. OVERVIEWAdolescents in foster care are engaging in high-risk sexualbehaviors at dramatically higher rates than their non-foster carepeers:• Foster youth are more likely to have sex at a young age, experience non-consensual sex, diagnosed with a sexually- transmitted infection (STI), and an unintended or out-of- wedlock childbirth• 50% of youth in foster care (ages 14 – 17) have had consensual sex  Of these youth, 41% reported their first sexual experience occurred at age 13 or younger• By age 17, 80% of foster youth reported having sex• 48% of teen girls in foster care have been pregnant by age 19  Of these girls, almost 50% will have a second pregnancy by age 19
    3. 3. • Sexually active adolescents who age out of foster care are less likely to use contraceptive methods, in comparison to adolescents still in foster care• Foster youth who feel connected to their caregiver are more likely to use contraceptive methods during sex• By age 21:  almost 50% of males in foster care report having gotten a female partner pregnant  almost 75% of females in foster care are pregnant  over 50% of females and almost 33% of males in foster care have at least one child
    4. 4. REASONS FOR HIGH-RISK SEXUAL BEHAVIORS AND OUT-OF-WEDLOCK PREGNANCYFindings from 150 surveyed Chicago-area foster youth and fosterparents:• Foster youth lack important relationships with caregivers and caseworkers, as well as foster families• Foster youth see benefits to having a child• Foster youth are dealing with pressure to have sex• Foster youth have access to information to sex and pregnancy, but offered “too little, too late”• Foster youth may have access to contraceptive methods, but may not use consistently, if at all• Foster youth are thinking about future goals, but are acting on present impulses• Foster youth have a lack of trust between the sexes
    5. 5. INDEPENDENT LIVING PROGRAMS (ILPS)Independent Living Program (ILP) : a federally funded, state-administered program to prepare foster youth (ages 16 – 21) fortheir transition from child welfare services to independence• Primary purpose of ILP is to reduce or eliminate:  homelessness  poverty  delinquent or criminal behavior  non-marital childbirth• Goals of ILP are to increase:  employability  high school graduation rates  enrollment in post-secondary or vocational institutions  successful transition to adulthood
    6. 6. COMPONENTS OF ILPS (PENNSYLVANIA)1) needs assessment/case planning (required)2) life skills training3) prevention services4) vocational training5) high school support and retention6) preparation for GED7) individual or group counseling8) assistance in obtaining higher education9) job placement10) subsidized employment11) practice IL placement (supervised independent living)12) location of permanent housing
    7. 7. 13) room and board14) stipends for youth15) aftercare services16) services for teen parents17) retreats/camps18) indirect services19) program administrationILPs follows standards provided by:• Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare (DPW) annual Children, Youth, and Families Bulletin• the Title IV-E Independent Living Program Application Guidelines
    8. 8. CURRENT SEXUALITY EDUCATION ANDPREGNANCY PREVENTION PROGRAMMING IN DELAWARE COUNTY (PA) ILPSILPs offer Former Independent Living (IL) Life Skills classes:• Two twelve-week sessions offered to foster youth:  one – two sessions are topics specific to sexual health and well-being  prevention is common theme in all sessions• Current partnerships with community and non-profit organizations:  Delaware County Teen Pregnancy Coalition  Planned Parenthood  AIDS Care Group  Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems  Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County
    9. 9. INTERVIEW WITH JULIA A. SULLENDER, ILP SUPERVISOR (DELAWARE COUNTY CYS)• Caseworkers are provided with ongoing training in topics related to sexuality education, but are not required to attend• Overall, the staff are open in discussing sexual health with the foster youth• Many foster youth in Delaware County Children and Youth Services (CYS) are becoming pregnant at a young age“I feel that we try to address the issue, but we do have room forimprovement. Foster Care Youth are faced with additionalstressors that their peers do not face. Self-esteem issues are amajor factor. We need to improve team coordination efforts toensure youth are being provided with mental health services, aswell as education in prevention.” (J. Sullender)
    10. 10. INTERVIEW WITH FOSTER YOUTH• 18 yrs. old, Caucasian female• In/out of foster care since age 6• Signed self out of care, but re-entered care after becoming pregnant• First sexual activity and sexual intercourse at age 11“I just think that instead of telling them not to do it, tell themhow to prevent all the things that come from it. Be open-minded(with) us being young. Sometimes (you) forget that you guysused to be our age, so just discuss.” (Foster Youth)
    11. 11. STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS• Cooperation and collaboration with government and non- profit organizations:  provide assistance with planning, development, and implementation of curriculum, workshops, and trainings  opportunities to receive additional funding and aid for ILPs  offer additional information and resources for caseworkers, caregivers, and foster youth
    13. 13. ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS• Apply for additional funding from:  Title X of the Public Health Service Act (Title X)  The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)  The President’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI)• Involve foster youth in development of sexuality education programming and outreach services for ILPs• Require training and education of sexual health and well- being topics for caseworkers and caregivers, as well as foster parents• Provide mental and behavioral health services for foster youth (i.e., cognitive therapy)• Develop and implement sessions/workshops on specific topics related to foster youth (i.e., self-esteem, peer pressure)
    14. 14. • Include sexual health screenings into health coordination plans for foster youth  in the health screenings, provide: o STI screenings and immunizations o HIV testing o Females: well-woman exam (breast exam and pelvic exam) o Males: testicular examination and sexual health counseling
    15. 15. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES:• The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy• Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago• Guttmacher Institute• Public Health Institute (California)
    16. 16. WORKS CITED“Independent Living Project.” University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Web. 20 April 2012.Jones, Danielle M. Personal Interview with Julia A. Sullender. 15 April 2012.---. Personal Interview with Foster Youth. 15 April 2012.Love, Lois Theissen, Jennifer McIntosh, Michael Rosst, and Kristen Tertzakian. “Fostering Hope: Preventing Teen Pregnancy Among Youth in Foster Care.” The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2005. Web. 5 March 2012.“Why It Matters: Teen Pregnancy and Child Welfare.” The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, August 2010. Web. 5 March 2012.