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What’s Sex Got to Do With It?

The Leadership Team of the Los Angeles Reproductive Healthy Equity Project for Foster Youth (LA RHEP) ended 2018 on a high note, hosting their first annual conference at East Los Angeles College on December 18th: What’s sex got to do with it? Healthy Sexual Development to Improve Outcomes for Youth in Foster Care. LA RHEP was joined by 175 caregivers, social workers, probation officers, educators, advocates, public health professionals, public agency administrators, court professionals, and young people all united around a bold vision:

A world in which youth in foster care are able to make their own informed decisions about their bodies, relationships, and reproductive lives

The full-day conference included an inspiring keynote speech from the Deputy Director of Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health – Dr. Deborah Allen, a radically candid panel discussion with the LA RHEP #FosterReproHealth Youth Ambassadors, and information-rich breakout sessions that engaged participants’ heads (laws, data, policy); hearts (equity, justice, healing); and hands (tools, strategies, resources). Conference attendees also had “candid conversations” about sexual health with their colleagues, screened the trailers for Plan A and FOSTER, and received a birth control basics demonstration.

(Visit www.fosterreprohealth.org/events for videos, pictures, and breakout session presentation materials.)

LA RHEP has an exciting agenda for 2019:

  • Highlighting efforts to implement California Senate Bill 89, which will ensure that youth in foster care receive comprehensive sex education and are able to access critical health care and services;
  • Recruiting youth currently or formerly in foster care for LA RHEP’s Youth Advisory Board and launching a new Caregiver Advisory Board;
  • Hosting listening sessions to hear from you about what it means to support the reproductive and sexual health of youth in foster care;
  • Creating new materials to ensure you have tools and resources to support your conversations with young people about healthy relationships, consent, and sexual and reproductive health; and
  • Hosting webinars and sharing information briefs to highlight LA RHEP’s evaluation results for trainings conducted for youth in care, social workers, foster caregivers, health care providers, and judges, attorneys, and CASA workers.
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