Parents as Advocates for Comprehensive Sex Ed in Schools (2002)

This document encourages parents to get involved in schools and lists out the benefits of getting involved and how and why parents should get involved.

This document is for parents, school administrators that want more parents to get involved and youth who want their parents to get involved or already have parents who are involved.

Click here to read the document.

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Chicago Volunteer Doulas

This website answers the following questions: What does a traditional birth doula do? What does an on-call birth doula do?

This website provides services. It is a website to obtain a doula. It is also a good website to gather information and it also answers questions about finding a doula and having one for pregnancy.

Click here to go to the website.

Chicago Department for Public Health

A bunch of children and adults by the lake in a park practicing mountain climbing

The Chicago Department of Public Health works to make Chicago a safer and healthier place by working with community partners to promote health, prevent disease, reduce environmental hazards and ensure access to health care for all Chicagoans. The CDPH works to provide leadership for public health, identify, analyze, & track issues, define problems and guide public health action, inspect food establishments to ensure safe food supply, and establish a public health presence in city neighborhoods.

To learn more about the mission and services of the Chicago Department of Public Health, click here. 

Answer: Sex Ed, Honestly

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Answer provides honest, accurate answers about sex in response to the many questions teens and adult professionals have about this complex topic. Answer has provided high-quality training to teachers and other youth-serving professionals. Answer also uses peer-to-peer communication to offer sexuality education directly to teens through the teen-written Sex, Etc. magazine and website.

To find out more about Answer, click here. 

Amplify

Amplify - A Project of Advocates for Youth

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.

Youth Involvement in Prevention Programs (2001)

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This “Issues at a Glance” piece from Advocates For Youth discusses that young people gain more from an experience when they are directly involved in program development/sexual health programming.  This article also provides effective tips on implementing youth involvement. Some of their findings include:

  • Programs for youth developed in partnership of youth and adults:
    • build young people’s skills, reduce their sexual risk-taking behaviors
    • benefit the youth who help to develop the program
    • have a greater impact on the young people served
  • Encouraging youth participation allows the organization to gain a more credible and a honest perspective of young people’s needs
  • Encourages adults to adopt the attitude of viewing Youths as Partners  rather than Youths as Objects or Youths as Recipients

Citation: Klindera, K. & Menderweld, J. (2001). Youth involvement in prevention programs. Advocates for Youth. p. 1-4

Link to article in English.

Link to article in Spanish.

Link to article in French.

Partnering With Youth (2002)

Summary:

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This issue of the Transitions newsletter, published by Advocates for Youth, focuses on community participation to diagnose the causes of a community health problem and to actively engage in creating, implementing, and evaluating strategies to address the problem. The newsletter defines community participation, describes the pros and cons, includes tips for adults partnering with youth, youth partnering with adults as well as tips  to effectively facilitate community participation.

Some notable quotes from the newsletter:

  • “Youth do not live in a vacuum, independent of influences around them. Rather, social, cultural, and economic factors strongly influence young people’s ability to access reproductive and sexual health information and services. To improve young people’s sexual and reproductive health, therefore, programs must address youth and their environment.” (p. 3)
  • “Community participation occurs when a community organizes itself and takes responsibility for managing its problems. Taking responsibility includes identifying the problems, developing actions, putting them into place, and following through.” (p. 4)

Citation: Advocates for Youth. (2002). Community participation partnering with youth. Transitions. Vol. 14., No. 3., p. 1-19.

Link to newsletter.

Benefits of Youth-Adult Partnerships (2006)

This article from University of Hawaii defines youth-adult partnerships and discusses its benefits.  The article also offers tips on how to create youth-adult partnerships.

  • “Young people aged 5–19 are about 25 percent of the U.S. population. They can be active participants in school and community activities, especially if they receive mentoring and encouragement from adults. As the future of our society, and a quarter of the population of our communities, youths are an enormous resource that is relatively untapped. They are tomorrow’s leaders and policy-makers, and if they become engaged in issues that affect our communities now, our future will benefit.” (p. 1)
  • “A youth-adult partnership is a joint effort—youth and adult working together to achieve common goals. In this intentional relationship, adults offer knowledge, experience, and access to resources, while youths impart fresh ideas, new perspectives, energy, enthusiasm, and talents.” (p. 1)
  • “Youth-adult partnerships focus on collaboration and emphasize youths as fresh resources with unique gifts to share.” (p. 2)
  • “Adults and the community reap the benefits of what youths can accomplish when they are challenged, engaged, and valued as citizens.” (p. 2)

Citation: Chong, J. (2006). Benefits of youth-adult partnerships. University of Hawaii’s Cooperative Extension Service. p. 1-2

Link to article.

Youth Friendly Clinics and Sexual Health Services (2007)

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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”

Respecting the Rights of GLBTQ Youth (2002)

Summary:

This Transitions article aims to compile and detail the best approach to help programs focus on the needs of GLBTQ youth and offers factual information and risks that GLBTQ youth face.  It includes fact sheets, tips and suggestions, GLBTQ’s health care bill of rights and first hand accounts by teens and youth advocates.

A survey conducted (at the time of this article) revealed that around 5.5% of high school youth self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or reported same-gender sexual contact.  Society in the U.S. sometimes show stigma towards GLBTQ people and societal homophobia can cause these youths to devalue themselves and feel isolated and alone.  GLBTQ youth may also feel more inclined to drop out, run away, use drugs and attempt suicide because of societal stress.

In 2001, Advocates for Youth launched the Rights. Respect. Responsibility. (3Rs) campaign.  Youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity have the right to comprehensive sexual health education and services and deserve respect.  Society also has the responsibility to provide young people with education and resources so that they can informed decisions.  The article details how programs can implement this framework into serving GLBTQ youth.

Citation:

Gilliam, J. Respecting the Rights of GLBTQ Youth, A Responsibility of Youth-Serving Professionals. 2002. Advocates for Youth Transitions.

Link to PDF

 

Creating Safe Space for GLBTQ Youth: A Toolkit (2005)

The Creating Safe Space Toolkit for GLBTQ Youthpublished by Advocates for Youth and Girl’s Best Friend Foundation, is intended for youth-serving professionals, especially in fields such as youth development, education, health care, and social work.

This toolkit addresses topics concerning homophobia and transphobia among youth and provides advice and tips in assessing an organization’s internal climate and staff’s personal attitudes regarding sexual orientation and gender identity, developing proactive policies, and developing positive attitudes regarding GLBTQ people.

The first part of the toolkit complies a lot of data from studies and surveys that looked at the homophobic climate in the U.S, sexual orientation development, family relationships, GLBT youth of color, substance abuse, lack of GLBT youth positive role models, sexual risks, and suicide risks.  The second part of the toolkit provides tips and strategies for creating a safe and inclusive space for GLBTQ youth.

Click here for a PDF of the “Creating Safe Space for GLBTQ Youth” Toolkit

Advocates for Youth

Advocates for Youth, established in 1980, aims to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive rights.  They focus on working with young people ages 14-25 in the U.S. and abroad and treat young people as a valuable resource.

Advocate for Youth’s Rights. Respect. Respnsibility (3Rs) Core Values:

RIGHTS: Youth have the right to accurate and complete sexual health information, confidential reproductive and sexual health services, and a secure stake in the future.

RESPECT: Youth deserve respect. Valuing young people means involving them in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies that affect their health and well-being.

RESPONSIBILITY: Society has the responsibility to provide young people with the tools they need to safeguard their sexual health, and young people have the responsibility to protect themselves from too-early childbearing and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Their website contains information such as:

They also publish a variety of publications ranging from topics such as “Peer Education” to “State Facts” and “Abstinence Only Programs.”

You can connect with Advocates for Youth via Facebook, Twitter, & Tumblr

Sexuality Education for Youth with Disability or Chronic Illness: A Resource List

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”

Sex Education for Physically, Emotionally and Mentally Challenged Youth (2006)

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This resource, complied by Advocates for Youth, provides detailed information and resources for youth who live with physical and/or mental disabilities— including, but not limited to hearing, sight, and motor function impairments; Down syndrome; cerebral palsy; paraplegia and quadriplegia; developmental disorders; and mental health issues.

The resource is divided into the following sections:

  • Statistics and data about disabilities among children and youth
  • Myths and facts about sexuality and disability
  • Why should parents be concerned about sexual education for their disabled children?
  • General guidelines for parents
  • General guidelines for professional sex educators
  • Selected Resources for educators and other youth serving professionals–Books, Curricula
  • Selected Resources for parents–Books
  • Organizations/Web sites

Link to “Sex Education for Physically, Emotionally and Mentally Challenged Youth” on Advocates for Youth’s webpage

Link to PDF version

Douglas Kirby’s 17 Characteristics at a Glance (2007)

“17 Characteristics at a Glance” is taken from Kirby et al.’s report, Sex and HIV Education Programs for Youth: Their Impact and Important Characteristics and their publication, Tools to Assess Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs (TAC).  This is a brief one page description of the 17 common characteristics of programs found to be effective in changing behaviors that lead to STD, HIV and unintended pregnancy among young people.

To identify those characteristics, Kirby and his colleagues conducted a systematic review of 83 studies of HIV prevention and sex education programs that were from both the developed and developing world.  About 66% of these programs showed positive behavior changes.  The researchers then conducted a more in-depth analysis of characteristics of these curriculum-based programs that showed positive changes.

Citation:

Kirby, D., Rolleri, L. A., Wilson, M. M. Tools to Assess Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs (TAC). 2007.

Link to PDF of “17 Characteristics At A Glance”

Curricula Assessment Tool (2007)

The Curricula Assessment Tool was designed by the ICAH to serve as a guide for Teachers, Administrators, Students, Parents and Members of the community working to ensure that the sex education curriculum being taught meets high standards for content and focus.

Acting as a checklist, the form provides the items required by the state of Illinois to be included in the sex education curriculum as well as items that meet the health learning standards for the State Board of Education.

You can view and download the form below.

Curriculum Assessment Tool 2007

Replicating Successful Programs (2006)

Plain Talk is a program developed by the Annie E Casey Foundation and was launched into five urban communities in 1993. The program is a neighborhood based initiative aimed at helping adults, parents, and community leaders develop the skills they need to communicate effectively with young people about reducing adolescent sexual risk taking. Plain Talk has been replicated in multiple communities across the United States.

The Goals of Plain talk are to:

  • Create consensus among parents and adults about the need to protect sexually active youth by encouraging early and consistent use of contraceptives.
  • To give parents and other community adults the information and skills they need to communicate more effectively with teens about responsible behavior.
  • To improve adolescent access to high-quality, age-appropriate and readily available reproductive health care, including contraception.

To find more information regarding the Plain Talk program visit The Annie E Casey Foundation and conduct a search for Plain Talk.

To view a summary of the Plain Talk Program, click the link below. Plaintalk.org is no longer a working web address for this organization.

Replicating Successful Programs- Plain Talk 2006

Through the Looking Glass: Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs and Their Impact on Adolescent Human Rights (2008)

Abstinence-only education policies and programs have recently been the subject of increasing number of reviews and critiques in the U.S. public health and social science research communities.  The authors of this article first present and discuss a case study of one U.S.-based human rights organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW) that used a set of traditional human rights methods to investigate the health and rights impacts of recent sexuality education policies in the US. (Texas)* and in Uganda**.

The authors believe that rights-based analyses can facilitate the development of new coalitions of policy advocates who can use international human rights as a common standard to critique U.S. policies.  From their analyses of the HRW case studies, the authors present some key principles of human rights and demonstrate their potential use to U.S. advocates.  For example, international human rights law states that every person, including every child, “enjoys a fundamental right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds […]” which supports the fundamental right of adolescents to sexual health information. (Miller et al. 39).  Based on this premise, HRW argues that abstinence-only programs violate these rights to education and information and denies young people their choice to protect their right to health.

The authors hope that by engaging with human rights-based claims and human rights-oriented fact finding, the debate regarding sexuality education can shift towards comprehensive sexuality education.

* The Texas case study– Ignorance Only: HUV/AIDS, Human Rights and Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Programs in the United States. Texas: A Case Study< ** The Uganda case study– The Less They Know, the Better: Abstinence-only AIDS Program in Uganda

Citation:  Miller, A. M., & Schleifer, R. A. (2008). Through The Looking Glass: Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs And Their Impact On Adolescent Human Rights.Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC5(3), 28-43.

Link to “Through the Looking Glass: Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs and Their Impact on Adolescent Human Rights” (Subscription Only Journal Article)

Preventing Teen Pregnancy among Marginalized Youth: Developing a Policy, Program, and Research Agenda for the Future: Full Report (2009)

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The Healthy Teen Network, with the support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has long explored how to better meet the needs of marginalized youth and subsequently reduce their risk for early pregnancy and parenting. In 2008, a year-long effort included: a review of the literature on what we know about today’s youth, their risk factors and what works to prevent early pregnancy among those most marginalized; development of a brief paper which synthesized these findings; a one-day summit including a diverse set of experts in the fields of teen pregnancy prevention and youth development to discuss the state of the field and develop a set of policy, program and research recommendations for moving forward, and a presentation and discussion with the field at large during Healthy Teen Network’s annual conference.

The Executive Summary provides a brief description of the issues, the summit and the recommendations for future policy, research and programs. The Executive Summary can be viewed here: Preventing Teen Pregnancy Among Marginalized Youth: Executive Summary

For the full report: Preventing Teen Pregnancy Among Marginalized Youth: Full Report