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”
This handy PDF, “Web Sexual Health Resources You Can Use,” was compiled by Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH) and contains websites and resources in order to allow you to learn more about science-based programs, lesson plans and teaching strategies, training and curriculum development, research and youth health statistics, and services.
See below for a brief list of the resources. Links have also been updated (Jan 2014).
Free Lesson Plans and Teaching Strategies
Training and Curriculum Development
Research and Youth Health Statistics
Link to PDF of “Web Sexual Health Resources You Can Use”
This fact sheet issued by ICAH reviews the recommendations for Sexual Health Education in schools by Medical and Public Health organizations such as:
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Medical Association
- World Health Organization
- American Public Health Association
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Society for Adolescent Medicine
These organizations recommend that Sexual Health Education programs should include the following topics:
- Basics of reproduction
- Human development (puberty)
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Contraceptives and other barrier methods
- Communication and behavioral skills (negotiation, refusal, etc)
- Relationships (familial, sexual, platonic)
- Information about access and/or condom availability
- Sexual orientation and gender
- Decision -making, values, and responsibility
In addition to these topics, some organizations have further recommendations or guidance on Sexual Health Education.
To view the fact sheet click HERE
For further information regarding National Education Standards for Sexual Health Education please visit Futureofsexeducation.org for PDF handouts of the standards for grades K-12.
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
Illinois Caucus for Adulescent Heath (ICAH) surveyed 120 pregnant and parenting youth to learn about school, self-esteem, discrimination, and their hopes for the future.
A large majority of those surveyed believe that it is important to finish high school, live in a safe place, and have medical coverage for their children and themselves. However, many respondents have faced challenges such as discrimination and even encouragement to leave school. Nearly all report the need for significant support such as financial, emotional and childcare support in order to accomplish their goals.
Link to “Young Parents and Education“ (PDF)
This fact sheet discusses the housing crisis for pregnant and parenting youth in Illinois based on a study done in 2004. According to statistics:
- In 2002, there were 18,546 births to women under the age of 20 in Illinois.
- A statewide survey of social service providers conducted by the Center for Impact Research (CIR) found that 26% of pregnant or parenting youth age 21 and under are living in unsafe or unstable conditions.
- In the CIR survey, 61% of pregnant and parent youth living in unsafe or unstable conditions were in need of immediate alternatives to their current living arrangements.
- Reasons for needing alternative living arrangements ranged from the lack of a permanent place to stay to financial, physical, sexual or emotional abuse of the young parent and his or her child.
- 31% of those needing alternative living arrangements were either transient or living in a shelter or car and 46% were living with their families.
- Most commonly, youth did not have access to appropriate housing because of a lack of sufficient income, lack of available affordable housing, lack of available long-term supportive housing, limited availability or a lack of transitional living programs and the youth’s lack of credit.
- Pregnant and parenting youth under the age of 18 who are not wards of the State of Illinois have the fewest options.
To view the entire brief click below:
Housing Crisis – preg and parent youth 2004