This guide includes Core Competencies for adult providers and educators of adolescent sexual and reproductive health to deliver effective, sensitive and appropriate programs and services.
Programs and agencies might use the Core Competencies to:
- guide the hiring, training, development and evaluation of staff
- increase collaboration and cross training between agencies
- support consistent health outcomes for adolescents
- ensure that all programs are grounded in shared body of knowledge and skills
Click here to read more.
Queer immigrants face unique challenges such as:
- denied healthcare on the basis that they are immigrants
- non competent healthcare because providers are not educated on LGBTQI issues
- transgender folks are denied healthcare at a higher rate based on identity
Click here to read the entire fact sheet.
This is a list of characteristics that understanding parents have.
- respecting the young person
- finding resources and educational materials to share with the young person.
- seeking additional help when needed
- talking about sexuality in an open manner with the young person
- check in with young person about their life, dating life and partners
To read the entire list click here.
This resource guide is provided by the section of family planning at the University of Chicago. It was develepod in 2014 and is a reference guide for legal information regarding abortion care and considerations.
- The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the right to an abortion is fundamental, but not absolute.
- A physician, in the course of evaluating the specific circumstances of an individual case, determines when abortion is necessary to preserve health and when a fetus is considered viable.
- Laws, policies, and court decisions at the federal, state, and local level affect individuals seeking access to abortion in Illinois.
Click here to read more about the legal rights regarding abortion in Illinois
This resource guide was initially created in 2014 by the University of Chicago a program of family planning. The guide provides resources to improve access to abortion., but this section is especially helpful for “health and social service providers advise pregnant persons who may be seeking abortion care in Illinois.”
- Under Illinois law, a pregnant person who is under age 18 (a minor) can consent to an abortion on her own and does not need parental consent (permission).
- However, all 50 states have laws that allow minors to consent to certain reproductive health services on their own
- As of August 15, 2013, Illinois state law requires health care providers to notify an adult family member (defined by the law as a parent, legal guardian, grandparent or resident step-parent who is over 21) at least 48 hours before providing abortion care to patient under age 18.
- State mandatory reporting laws require health care professionals to breach confidentiality in order to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse
- Illinois’ law requires reporting of child abuse and neglect by mandated reporters to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). DCFS investigates cases of child sexual abuse when the perpetrator is a family member, a person living in the home of the child, or a person in a position of of trust or authority (e.g., teacher, babysitter, volunteer in a youth program).
Click here to read more information by visiting the guide online.
This newsletter published by Child Trends is an informative resource that clarifies a lot of common questions regarding adolescent mental health. The newsletter contains definitions of mental health terminology, facts and figures about current mental health trends, a list of warning signs and common mental disorders among adolescents. There is also information about treatment, mental healthcare access and barriers to care, strategies for reducing mental disorders among adolescents and a list of comprehensive resources.
Murphey, D., Barry, M., and B. Vaughn. (2013). Mental Health Disorders. Child Trends Adolescent Health Highlights.
Link to “Mental Health Disorders”
Go Ask Alice! is Columbia University’s health Q&A Internet resource. There are six category pages of questions answered —Alcohol & Other Drugs, Emotional Health, Fitness and Nutrition, General Health, Relationships, and Sexual and Reproductive Health. The goal of Go Ask Alice! is to keep readers inquisitive, informed, and healthy.
This resource is good for educators, young people who have questions, and organizations that work with young people. This resource is also valuable to parents.
To read more about Go Ask Alice! click here.
The mission of Young Women’s Health is to help teen girls, their parents, teachers, and health care providers improve their understanding of normal health and development, as well as of specific diseases and conditions. The site provides health guides in English and Spanish, health-related quizzes, and an Ask Us section.
To read more about the Center for Young Women’s Health, click here.
Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) is one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations. The agency serves more than 16,000 adults and youth each year in its diverse health and social service delivery system focused around seven major programmatic divisions: primary medical care, behavioral health, research, HIV/STD prevention, youth services, elder services, and community initiatives.
The Broadway Youth Center (BYC) is a program with HBHC that enables FREE healthcare coverage for youth from the ages of 12-24. To read more about location, hours, and programs with BYC, click here.
To read more about Howard Brown Health Center and their variety of health programs, click here.
Amplify is a project of Advocates for Youth. Advocates for Youth champions efforts to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Advocates believes it can best serve the field by boldly advocating for a more positive and realistic approach to adolescent sexual health.
Advocates for Youth envisions a society that views sexuality as normal and healthy and treats young people as a valuable resource. The core values of Rights, Respect, and Responsibility animate this vision. Amplify also has information on sexual health campaigns by state and by international cities.
To read more about Amplify, click here.
“Our Story, Our Words”, produced by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (NCPTUP), features foster-care involved young people’s views on love, sex, and pregnancy in their own words. Some interesting statistics from the the magazine include:
“Nearly 80 percent of teen mothers do not marry their baby’s father. On average, these absent fathers pay only $800 a year in child support.” (p. 7)
“Three out of ten girls become pregnant at least by once by age 20.” (p. 7)
“41% of foster youth think the reason teen pregnancy is higher among foster youth is because they want to feel loved.” (p. 7)
Citation: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. (n.d.) Our Story, Our Words. Retrieved from http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/resources/pdf/pubs/OurStory_FINAL.pdf
Link to magazine.
This article, published by Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, focuses on the importance of providing adolescents with access to quality health services and accurate non-judgmental information. Adolescents have particular needs regarding to reproductive and sexual health care and it is imperative that clinics work to ensure that their services, staff and facilities create a welcoming and safe space.
This issue brief discusses how providing youth friendly services can play a role in reducing a youth’s risk of becoming pregnant and contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. This can be done by creating a safe and youth-friendly clinic setting, making information about care and rights available and reducing external barriers to accessing care.
Citation: Illinois Caucus of Adolescent Health. ICAH Issue Brief: Youth-Friendly Clinics and Sexual Health Services. 2007.
Link to PDF of “Youth Friendly Clinics and Sexual Health Services”
The article examines how adolescents and young women, ages 9-26 years old, use general and reproductive health services. This article uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau, NAMCS (National Ambulatory Care Survey) and NHAMCS (National Hospital Ambulatory Care Survey).
- The proportion of visits made to obstetrician- gynecologists and family practitioners increased with age, and by ages 15–16 years fewer than half of all visits to primary care providers were made to pediatricians. The proportion of visits for reproductive health services peaked at 53% of 7.5 million physician visits at ages 20–21 years.
- This study found that a larger proportion of visits to the outpatient clinics were made by young black women than by white women and women of color are at increased risk of STDs, unintended pregnancy and etc. It is essential that these outpatient clinics provide convenient, comprehensive and quality sexual health services.
- The proportion of visits made by women to family and general practitioners and to general medicine clinics was fairly constant over the range of ages studied. It is important that these provides have resources and training to help focus their attention to women’s reproductive health.
- Obstetrician-gynecologists and family practitioners are able to provide continuity of care throughout patients’ reproductive years and have the greatest expertise and experience in addressing reproductive healthcare needs. They are good choice for reproductive health visits.
Because adolescents and young women most commonly utilize healthcare services provided by obstetrician-gynecologists and family practitioners, these specialties should be priority targets for interventions to improve the quality and availability of reproductive health services.
Citation: Hoover, K.M., Tao, G., & Kent, C.K. (2010). Utilization of health services in physician offices and outpatient clinics by adolescents and young women in the United States: Implication for improving access to reproductive health services. Journal of Adolescent Health. Vol. 46., No. 4. p. 324-330.
Full text available to subscribers. Click here.
Advocates for Youth over the years to ask, “How can I be more helpful, more open, and more sensitive to the sexual health needs of my patients, especially teens and their parents?” This resource offers some suggestions and tips for physicians that help facilitate communication about sexual health with teens and parents.
Some tips include:
- “Recognize that teens may find it hard to keep an appointment before 3:30 pm. Offer late hours for teens at least one day a week and/or hours on Saturday.” (p. 1)
- “Many teens may be engaging in oral and/or anal sex to remain “virgins,” to avoid pregnancy, or because they don’t realize these are forms of sexual intercourse. Be precise when you ask whether teens are having sex and make sure teens understand that vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse carry risks for STIs, including HIV.” (p. 1)
- “Inquire about teens’ sex education. Don’t assume they know about safer sex or reproduction. The current public school climate is often one of censorship. Teens may have learned only exaggerated failure rates of condoms and other contraceptive methods and misinformation about side effects, relationship to cancer, and fertility problems.” (p. 1)
Citation: Huberman,B. (2002). Tips for health care providers: Helping teens and patents with sexual health needs. Advocates for Youth. p. 1-2
Link to “Tips for Health Care Providers.”
GLBT patients often face discrimination in a healthcare setting. This resource provides tips on how providers can create welcoming environments that are confidential, free of discrimination, and respectful.
- Waiting room reading materials and bulletin boards should include positive items about the GLBT community and materials of interest to the GLBT community.
- Have an affirmative action policy for hiring “out” GLBT people. This will go a long way towards making GLBT patients more comfortable.
- Provide in-depth training for staff members on homophobia and GLBT health concerns. All staff dealing directly with clients should be able to talk comfortably about all forms of sexuality and all gender identities. Have staff practice with each other until they are comfortable.
- Friends and partners of GLBT patients should be given the respect and privileges usually given to a spouse or relative
Culturally competent care for GLBT people:Recommendations for health care providers. (2010). King County Public Health. Retrieved from http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/personal/glbt/CulturalCompetency.aspx
Link to PDF of the article
This interactive tool helps health care professionals assess the quality of services provided to adolescents. Using this resource, you can develop action plans to address policy, operations, training, and other program areas needing adjustment and change.
Youth-friendly programs characteristics assessed by this tool include:
- Facility Hours
- Facility Environment
- Services Provided
- Peer Education/Counseling Programs
- Educational Activities
- Youth Involvement
- Supportive Policies
- Administrative Procedures
Citation: Senderowitz, J., Solter, C., & Hainsworth, G. (2002). Clinic assessment of youth services: A tool for assessing and improving reproductive health services for youth. Pathfinder International. p. 1-21.
Link to “Clinic Assessment of Youth Friendly Services.“
Howard Brown Health Center was founded in 1974 and is now one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations. Howard Brown Center is based in Chicago and serves men, women, infants, youth, and children through many health clinics and research centers. For more information about Howard Brown Health Center’s history, click here.
“Howard Brown exists to eliminate the disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness.”
The Howard Brown Health Center provides many services including:
- Walk-in Clinic
- STD & HIV Rapid Testing
- Transgender Health
- HIV/STD Prevention & Services
- Youth services
- Elder services
- Community initiatives
- Alternative Insemination (AI) Program
- Case Management
- Counseling & Psychotherapy
- Domestic Violence Support
- Workshops & Support Groups
Howard Brown Health Center offers discounted health services to qualifying patients who are uninsured and have low income. They also accept many insurance plans, in addition to Medicaid and Medicare.
For a list of locations, hours and specific services, click here.
For health related matters, please phone Howard Brown Health Center at 773-288-1600. For urgent health issues, please call 911.
Connect with them via Facebook or Twitter.
LGBTQ youth appear to have a greater risk for adverse risk outcomes such as HIV and STDs, substance use, depression, and suicide. The authors were interested in learning about the experiences of LGBTQ youth with healthcare providers and healthcare services.
They collected data by placing a survey on Youth Guardian Services, a youth-run non-profit organization that provides support services on the Internet to LGBTQ and straight supportive youth, and it was available for completing by visitors to the site. The survey covered topics about preferences regarding healthcare providers, healthcare settings and the health issues that they consider important to discuss with a healthcare provider.
Results showed that interpersonal skills and how healthcare providers interact with patients were more important to youth than the providers’ specific competencies. Results also showed that LGBTQ youth ranked gender and sexual orientation of the provider among the lowest in importance, implying that these youth do not necessarily need to be served only by LGBTQ healthcare providers.
LGBTQ youth considered preventative healthcare, nutrition, family issues and safe sex as important health concerns and needs. This emphasizes the importance for providers to not only address health risks, but to also stress wellness, health promotion, and psychosocial issues facing LGBTQ in the context of home and family when serving LGBTQ youth.
Hoffman, N.D., Freeman, K., & Swann, S. (2009). Health preference of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Journal of Adolescent Health. 45. p. 222-229.
Link to PDF of “Healthcare Preferences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth”
Planned Parenthood, founded in 1916, is an organization that is committed to providing trusted health care, educating and informing the community, leading the reproductive health and rights movement, and advancing global health.
“Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence.”
The website provides up-to-date, clear, and medically accurate information about a variety of topics such as:
Planned Parenthood health centers also provide a variety of services such as:
- Birth Control
- Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)
- General Health Care
- HIV Testing
- LGBT Health Care
- Men’s Health Care
- Pregnancy Testing & Services
- STD Testing, Treatment & Vaccines
- Women’s Health Care
Click here to find your closest Planned Parenthood Health Clinic.
Connect with Planned Parenthood via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Youtube.
This comprehensive resource list, compiled by the University of Michigan Health System, provides information relating to sexual issues affecting youth with disabilities or chronic conditions.
Providing clear and accurate information to youths with disabilities is important–
“Young people with disabilities are no different from other kids in their need to understand their bodies and relationships; they, too, need to understand how their bodies work, and may have romantic longings and sexual interests. The following resources cover the many aspects of disability, love, sex and puberty in a responsible, open and affirming manner.”
The resource list is includes many web resources, print resources and information about organizations. You can also ask questions about this topic.
Click here for a link to “Sexuality Education for Youth with Disability or Chronic Illness: A Resource List”