10. Resources & FAQ’s about SB 89

Why are there sexual and reproductive health disparities among foster youth?Foster youth are more vulnerable than peers their same age given that as a population they:
• Often lack the support of a trusted adult who can offer them guidance throughout their development, which can create all sorts of challenges;
• Experience placement and school instability that have negative effects on their academic
achievement and increased likelihood of missed sexual health education;
• Have a history of trauma, even if that is limited to whatever circumstance brought them into care in the first place, and trauma complicates all areas of life;
• Are disproportionately represented in populations of commercially sexually exploited youth;
• Are impacted by institutional barriers that exist for youth in care that are not present for peers out of care—such as extra rules, limited transportation, and lack of privacy.
How did SB 89 get passed?Advocacy efforts related to SB 89 began in 2015 when a convening was held by the Child Development and Successful Youth Transitions Committee, a committee under the Child Welfare Council, to bring together stakeholders to identify core needs and recommendations related to sexual and reproductive wellness in child welfare. Around the same time, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) developed their Plan for Prevention of Unintended Pregnancy which carried many of the same ideas and interventions. In 2016, CDSS formed the Healthy Sexual Development Workgroup which provided leadership for the state about the sexual and reproductive wellness of foster youth. The 2016 CA Healthy Youth Act (CHYA) mandated Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV Education which is an important law that SB 89, also known as the 2017 Foster Youth Sexual health Education Act, built upon as it became clear that foster youth needed more intentional support to ensure they receive this sexual education. For more information about CHYA, please visit: https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/know-your-rights/sex-education#chya
For more information about SB 89, please visit: https://www.jbaforyouth.org/sb89/