New Bill in California to Support Unplanned Pregnancy Prevention Efforts for Foster Care Youth

On October 6, 2016, I wrote a blog post on the exciting work happening in Orange County, CA as a result of the California Foster Youth Pregnancy Prevention Institute (CFYPPI).  The CFYPPI was a joint effort between The National Campaign, John Burton Advocates for Youth (formerly John Burton Foundation), and the American Public Human Services Association to provide training and technical assistance to six county child welfare agencies to integrate evidence-based practices and policies to reduce unintended pregnancy among foster youth. Each county identified at least one evidence-based strategy to implement and developed new or revised current reproductive health policies. 

Lessons learned during the CFYPPI and the dedication and support from the six counties led to a budget proposal last year. While that budget proposal was not successful, the approach and proposal was revised and reintroduced this year. California Senate Bill 245 aims to decrease the rate of unplanned pregnancy among foster care youth through the following four provisions:

  • Implementation of comprehensive sexual health education for youth in care ages 12 and up and including its receipt in case plans.
  • Ensure reproductive rights of foster youth are met annually and documented by social workers.
  • Development of statewide curriculum for social workers and caregivers on reproductive health rights of foster youth, how to document sensitive sexual health information in case plans, their role in ensuring youth’s access to sexual and reproductive health services, and how to talk to youth about sexual health and provide referrals.
  • Train social workers, judges, licensed foster parents, relative caregivers, group home personnel, and foster family agencies using the statewide curriculum.

For more information, visit the John Burton Advocates for Youth website and scroll down to Senate Bill 245 (Leyva): Reducing Unintended Pregnancy Among Foster Youth. 

Authored by: Becky Griesse

Becky Griesse is the Senior Manager of Programs at The National Campaign. In this capacity, she provides assistance to state and local communities regarding teen and unplanned pregnancy.

Prior to joining The National Campaign, Becky was the Adolescent Sexual Health Program Manager at the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD). There she provided technical assistance to CDC/DASH funded state education agencies to improve youth access to sexual health services. Becky also has experience coordinating a local teen pregnancy prevention coalition, the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) in Alexandria, VA.

Becky attended James Madison University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and George Washington University where she received a Master in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health.  She is an Adjunct Faculty member at George Mason University where she teaches Human Sexuality and Women’s Health courses.

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