197810 Understanding the Sexual Health Needs of Bay Area Foster and Former Foster Care Youth

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Joseph Dominic Crottogini, MPH (c) , Center for the Vulnerable Child, Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, Oakland, CA
Elodia Villasenor, MPH , Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health & Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Jahaira Fajardo, MPH (c) , Center for the Vulnerable Child, Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, Oakland, CA
Krista L. Ward, DC, MPH , Breathe California Golden Gate Public Health Partnership, Daly City, CA
Youth who are transitioning or "aging out" of foster care face the daunting task of trying to navigate the fabric of their newly acquired freedom with very little preparation. Youth who have lived in the foster care system have higher rates of STDs, unwanted pregnancy, homelessness, substance abuse, emotional difficulties, incarceration, and lower educational and career attainment. In 2008, we conducted a sexual health needs assessment with current and former foster youth in the Bay Area. While previous studies have examined the sexual health of youth in foster care, very few have used methods incorporating the perspectives of youth themselves. To assess barriers and supports for healthy sexual behaviors and knowledge of Bay Area foster youth, a series of focus groups were conducted with 36 current and former foster youth with ages ranging from 13-21. Our findings reflect trends in the published literature and add to the current body of knowledge surrounding foster youth and sexual health.

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the disparity of sexual health outcomes between youth who have been in foster care and youth who have never been in foster care. 2) Understand the barriers for sexual health behaviors and knowledge of Bay Area foster youth 3) Identify 3 policy & programmatic solutions to these barriers.

Keywords: Reproductive Health, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Previous experience providing HIV/STD prevention and education services to adolescents, MPH
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.