The California Department of Social Services, in collaboration with valued stakeholders, developed this plan as authorized by Welfare and Institutions Code (W&IC) section 16521.5 to provide foster care providers, county social workers and probation officers with guidelines that describe the duties and responsibilities in delivering unintended pregnancy prevention services and information to youth and Non-Minor Dependents (NMD).
Required Strategies for All Youth and NMDs
A. County agencies shall use the reasonable and prudent parent standard to create normalcy and to support the healthy sexual development of youth and NMDs based on their individual needs.
B. County agencies shall provide access to age-appropriate, medically accurate information on reproductive and sexual health care, the prevention of unplanned pregnancies, which includes abstinence and contraception, and the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
C. County agencies shall inform youth, in an age-appropriate manner, of their rights to consent to the prevention or treatment of pregnancy, including contraception and abortion, at any age; and to consent to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of STIs at age 12 or older.
Recommended Strategies for All Youth and NMDs
D. County agencies should develop policies and procedures on confidentiality and how to protect the youth’s and NMD’s sensitive information surrounding their reproductive and sexual health care and treatment to ensure compliance with federal and state privacy law.
E. County agencies should educate youth and NMDs about the contrasts between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
F. County agencies should provide youth and NMDs with information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) + wellness including Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) and reproductive and sexual health. G. County agencies should use culturally-inclusive, trauma-informed, strengths-based, and whenever possible, evidence-based practices and programs.
H. County agencies should use existing local reproductive health care resources such as those offered through county public health, schools, community clinics, family planning clinics (including Title X clinics) and programs serving Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC).
Recommended Strategies for Preteen Youth
I. County agencies should ensure that preteen youth receive age-appropriate education about healthy relationships, healthy sexual development, positive gender identity, body image and safety.
J. County agencies should ensure that preteen youth receive age-appropriate, medically accurate, education on puberty, reproductive health and sexual development before puberty. Recommended Strategies for Youth 12-Years-Old and Older and NMDs
K. County agencies should incorporate a reproductive and sexual health education component into the Independent Living Program curricula.
L. County agencies should prepare youth and NMDs for their medical visits by providing them with a list of frequently asked questions to ask their doctor, encourage them to write specific questions of their own and prepare them for questions that may be asked of them.