Scenario: Katrice, a fourteen year-old in foster care, asks her social worker how she can get free condoms as she is sexually active but does not want to get pregnant. Her social worker provides Katrice with information about a local health clinic that provides free condoms, no questions asked. Katrice visits the health clinic and gets condoms and later her foster mother finds the condoms. The foster mother demanded to know how Katrice got the condoms, and Katrice tells her that the social worker assisted her. The foster mother is now angry and tells the social worker that she is going to file a complaint with the county agency.
What is the Case Manager required to do? The case manager should inform the foster parent of the youth’s right to have access to confidential reproductive health care services, including contraception. Case managers will not have disciplinary action taken against them for doing their job and fostering the youth’s rights. It is the case manager’s duty to provide the youth with age appropriate medically accurate information and resources about reproductive health care, unplanned pregnancy prevention, abstinence, use of birth control, abortion and the prevention and treatment of STIs.
What are some best practices for the case manager in this scenario? The case manager can provide the foster mother with a copy of ACL 16-82, which outlines the sexual health and reproductive rights of foster youth as well as provide a copy of this same ACL to the foster parent’s Foster Family Agency if applicable. The case manager should also have a conversation with the foster parent about what her fears are in regards to Katrice having condoms. Does the foster parent have concerns about Katrice’s health or safety? Are there other resources or referrals the foster parent may need in order to support Katrice?