Foster Youth and Sexual Health

Some of the most important decisions a youth can make involve sexual encounters

Foster Youth and Sexual Health

Youth removed from their home due to abuse or neglect are 70% more likely to become pregnant than other teens and have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections.

Youth in foster care have five or more adverse childhood experiences in comparison to the general population's one experience.

The more trauma a child experiences, the more likely they are to make rash decisions based on feelings. Trauma is a significant factor contributing to poor choices made by foster youth.

Practice Self-Regulation™ Supports Foster Youth Needs

PS-R supports healthy relationships and safe sex practices among foster youth.

Trauma-informed - PS-R™ is the only adolescent sexual health curriculum that currently meets all the Office of Adolescent Health's standard for being "trauma-informed" and was developed in response to the particular needs of youth in out-of-home care.

Safe, familiar setting - PS-R™ is delivered in one-on-one sessions between a youth and a trained, certified facilitator with whom a trusting relationship is built.

Beyond the basics - Youth in out-of-home care are less likely to receive the public school-based sexual health curriculum due to multiple placements or find the general curriculum to be relevant to their experiences. PS-R™ is delivered over a continuous ten-week period with youth completing a self-reflective workbook between sessions.

Promising Outcomes

The long-term outcomes of PS-R™ are:

  • Decrease in risky drug and alcohol use in sexual encounters and decision making
  • Decreased incidence of unprotected sex
  • Decrease in number of sexual partners
  • Decrease in teen pregnancies for youth in foster care and out-of-home placement

In a limited implementation, youth who completed PS-R™ as part of a Family Design Resources pilot showed an increase in:

  • Asking adults for advice
  • Contraceptive and sexual health knowledge
  • Positive attitudes regarding self-worth and self-esteem
  • Knowledge of how to identify and address trauma echoes