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
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The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) is a not-for-profit, interdisciplinary professional organization that includes educators, sexuality counselors and sex therapists, AASECT members such as physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, allied health professionals, clergy members, lawyers, sociologists, marriage and family counselors and therapists, family planning specialists and researchers, as well as students in relevant professional disciplines.
The mission and priority of AASECT is to promote understanding of human sexuality and healthy sexual behavior. They provide various resources including sexuality education certification, career mentorship, and monthly professional newsletter.
You can also connect with them via Facebook and Twitter.
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.“
Librarians have a unique opportunity to help parents, educators and teens obtain age-appropriate, medically accurate and culturally relevant information and resources they need to be informed about sexual health. For some, a library may be their only source of information.
Advocates For Youth complied a list of print, audio, and web-based resources addressing sex and health especially for youth. Librarians can use this list as a tool to aid young people in finding resources available when seeking sex and sexual health information.
Citation: Ratner, J. & Huberman, B. (2006). The librarian’s guide to sex education resources. Advocates For Youth. p. 1-89.
Link to web resources.
The American Sexual Health Association, founded in 1914, aims to communicate to the public, patients, press, providers and policy makers by developing and delivering sensitive health information about sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases/infections.
Their mission statement:
“The American Sexual Health Association promotes the sexual health of individuals, families and communities by advocating sound policies and practices and educating the public, professionals and policy makers, in order to foster healthy sexual behaviors and relationships and prevent adverse health outcomes.”
The website provides information about:
- Sexual Health (Condom use, women’s health, men’s health, FAQs…etc.)
- STDs/STIs (Statistics, Reducing Risk, Getting Tested, HPV, Chlamydia, etc.)
- Education Resources for Health Providers (Videos, Resources for Medical Students, etc.)
- Education Resources for Parents (How to Talk to Your Kids, Start the Conversation, etc.)
- Education Resources for Teachers (Comprehensive Sex Ed, STIs & Young People, etc.)
You can also get updates from the ASHA Blog and through their Youtube channel.
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
This article, written by Brigid McKeon (Advocates for Youth) provides an overview of the effectiveness and characteristics of comprehensive sex education and the dangers of abstinence-only programs .
By age 18, 70% of U.S. females and 62% of U.S. males have initiated vaginal sex. Adolescents have a fundamental human right to comprehensive and accurate sexual health information in order to make healthy decisions about sex and healthy sexual behaviors.
The article provides statistics and data supporting several points–
- Comprehensive sex education is effective and does not promote sexual risks
- Abstinence-Only programs are dangerous, ineffective and inaccurate
- Medical organizations, parents and the public support comprehensive sex education
The fact sheet also includes characteristics of effective sex education as well as medical and public health recommendations to support comprehensive sex education.
Link to “Effective Sex Education”
“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.
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”
This publication published by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy assesses available information on parent-teen communication in Latino families, and also pinpoints the research findings that are most useful to practitioners. It is mainly a resource for practitioners and illustrates specific characteristics that define Latino families in regards to acculturation, education, family structure, and religiosity and how each of these characteristic can affect adolescent-parent communication, especially about sexual health.
In addition, the publication gives communication tips for Latino parents on stressing cultural importance of morals, the importance of talking to both daughters and sons about sex and contraception, and knowing when the time is right to talk about these topics. Communication tips are available in both English and Spanish.
Interesting facts include:
- “A study conducted by Latina magazine and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that while 47% of Latino teens said they were sexually experienced, only 30% of Latino parents thought their teen had had sex.” (Ramos-Guilamo & Bouris, 2008, p. 11)
- “Although parents from all ethnic and racial groups find it difficult to talk to their child about sex, a number of studies have suggested that Latino parents do not talk as often about sex as do other parents.” (Ramos-Guilamo & Bouris, 2008, p. 13)
Citation: Ramos-Guilamo, V. & Bouris, A. (2008). Parent-adolescent communication about sex in latino families: A guide to practicioners. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy. p. 1-22
Link to “Parent-Adolescent Communication about Sex in Latino Families: A Guide for Practitioners “
Answer, a national organization based in New Jersey (affiliated with Rutgers University), provides sexual health education training to teachers and youth-serving professionals and also offer peer-to-peer sexual health education directly to teens through their teen written magazine and website, Sex,Etc.
You can connect with Answer via Facebook, Twitter, and their Blog
You can also contact them if you have questions or suggestions.
The authors suggest that high unintended pregnancy rates in the U.S. may be the result of relatively low use of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods, such as the contraceptive implant and intrauterine devices. According to the World Health Organization’s evidence-based Medical Eligibility Criteria for contraceptive use, almost all women are eligible for implants and intrauterine devices.
Despite high up-front costs and the need for office visits for insertion and removal, LARC methods share the following advantages over other methods:
- Are independent from coitus and user motivation and adherence
- Have the highest effectiveness, continuation rates, and user satisfaction
- Do not require frequent visits for resupply
- Require no additional funding for consistent use once they have been placed
- Are highly cost-effective
- Are reversible, with a rapid return to fertility after removal
LARC methods should be offered as first-line contraceptive methods and encouraged as options for most women. To increase use of LARC, barriers such as lack of health care provider knowledge or skills, low patient awareness, and high upfront costs should be addressed.
Committee on Gynecologic Practice. Increasing Use of Contraceptive Implants and Intrauterine Devices To Reduce Unintended Pregnancy. 2009. ACOG Committee Opinion. 450.
Link to “Increasing Use of Contraceptive Implants and Intrauterine Devices To Reduce Unintended Pregnancy”
Aids.gov is informative resource and user-friendly site that discusses new research, policy, and media. The website caters to people of all backgrounds, cultures and sexual orientations and provides AIDS-related important information regarding HIV/AIDS Basic Information, Federal Resources, Social Media, News & Events. The website also has a HIV/AIDS Service Locator, information about HIV/AIDS Counseling Training and Resources for Providers.
You can also connect with them via Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, Podcast and their Blog.