New Initiative Focuses on Reproductive Health of L.A. Foster Youth
Teen pregnancy rates are at historic lows in the United States – but not for all youth. While the overall rate is down, young women in the foster care system are far more likely to experience teen and unintended pregnancy and childbirth. Although California has an important network of laws in place to ensure access to contraception and reproductive health services, foster youth often face barriers to making their reproductive rights a reality.
Launched in March 2017, the Los Angeles Reproductive Health Equity Project for Foster Youth (LA RHEP) is a partnership of adult advocates and foster youth working to dismantle systemic barriers in an effort to improve access to sexual and reproductive health care services for youth in care and decrease rates of unintended pregnancy.
LA RHEP is supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Foster Youth Strategic Initiative and is comprised of nonprofit representatives, evaluators, system partners, and a Youth Advisory Board. Project members participate in working groups with interventions targeted at social workers, foster parents, health providers, judicial officers, and youth. The project is also coordinating state-level policy implementation and a public awareness campaign to increase willingness to address unplanned pregnancy among foster youth.
Utilizing a collective impact strategy to coordinate efforts, NCYL provides strategic guidance as the backbone agency. Other members of the LA RHEP Leadership Team include: LA County Department of Children & Family Services, Alliance for Children’s Rights, Children’s Law Center of California, John Burton Advocates for Youth, Public Counsel, and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Please visit our website for more information and stay tuned for future updates!