A Case for Trauma-Informed Sex Education for Youth in Child Welfare: What is It, Why It Matters, & Who is Responsible? A Training for Dependency Court Stakeholders Open Access

Jolly, Sarah Ashley (Spring 2018)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/2z10wq25s?locale=en
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Abstract

 

Background: Youth in child welfare systems face discrete barriers to sexual health, reproductive health, and healthy relationships education (SRHHRE) and services. This is complicated by a majority of youth’s primary and secondary exposures to traumatic events. Dependency court stakeholders are in a unique position to act as trusted adults, negotiators, and advocates for trauma- informed SRHHRE in the lives of youth.

Purpose: The purpose of this special studies project is to create a curriculum for child welfare stakeholders that seeks to increase stakeholders’ critical awareness of the current state of sex education in the United States that youth in care might be exposed to, with activities and resources that seek to increase and engage participants knowledge of sexual and reproductive health (SRH,) healthy relationships, and pregnancy prevention utilizing a trauma-informed perspective.

Methods: Prior to the development of this curriculum, surveys were administered by convenience sampling at nine training sites selected by Power to Decide for the 2017-2018 cycle of the Training and Technical Assistance Project: Addressing Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in Dependency and Juvenile Justice Courts. 194 respondents answered at least one question on the survey; 97% of respondents indicated a first-choice for training expansion, of which 39.7% of respondents reported that trauma-informed SRHHRE was their first preference.

Results: This curriculum is stratified by three modules, [1] Sex Education in the United States, [2] Trauma-Informed Sexual and Reproductive Health Services and Education: Who is Responsible? and [3] Sexual and Reproductive Health Resource Overview. Each module includes an activity and/or opportunity for content exploration.

Discussion & Recommendations: Access to appropriate and comprehensive SRHHRE and services allows individuals to control their reproductive abilities and sexual health, which has implications for increased opportunities for educational and economic advancements. This curriculum will increase stakeholders’ self-efficacy in acting as an advocate and trusted adult in the lives of youth in care to ensure that they have access to developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed SRHHRE with potential implications to improve long-term health outcomes. 

Table of Contents

 

 

Table of Contents Introduction & Background ........................................................................................................1 Rationale .........................................................................................................................................1 Significance .....................................................................................................................................1 Problem Statement ...........................................................................................................................7 Purpose Statement............................................................................................................................7 Special Studies Project Objectives ..........................................................................................7 Curriculum Objectives .............................................................................................................8 List of Terms & Abbreviations ........................................................................................................9 Literature Review ........................................................................................................................10 Trauma ...........................................................................................................................................10 Resilience .......................................................................................................................................16 Trauma-Informed Care ..................................................................................................................19 Trauma-Informed Sexual Health, Reproductive Health, & Healthy Relationships Education .....21 Sexual & Reproductive Health-Related Outcomes Among Youth in Care ..................................24 Sex Education in the United States ...............................................................................................26 Protective Factors Against Teen Pregnancy .................................................................................29 Methods.........................................................................................................................................32 Curriculum Context .......................................................................................................................32 Survey Results ...............................................................................................................................33 Curriculum Overview ....................................................................................................................34 Discussion, Recommendations & Conclusions ..........................................................................37 Discussion ......................................................................................................................................37 Recommendations & Conclusions .................................................................................................39 References .....................................................................................................................................40 Appendix .......................................................................................................................................49 Trauma-Informed Sex Education for Youth in Child Welfare: What is It, Why it Matters & Who is Responsible?...................................................................................................................................50 End the Stigma: A Peer-Education Model Increasing Knowledge, Self-Efficacy & Starting Conversations...............................................................................................................................................77 

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