Developmentally Appropriate Approaches to Discussing Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights with Foster Youth

Transition Age Youth/ Young Adults

Developmental Characteristics and Conversation Starters
Age Range (stages/ages are variable and fluid):
Biological Females: 17-21+ years, Biological Males: 18-21+ years

For transition-aged youth/young adult, the focus should again shift, planning for transitions in resources, responsibility, and more stability in relationships. More developed abstract thinking, understanding of cause and effect, and future-orientation in the young person you are working with allows for more adult approaches to sexual health education. However, remember that trauma can result in delays in development:

There are lots of changes and transitions going on in your life now that you are (almost or already over) 18. Trauma and the experiences that you had growing up can make it hard to take care of your sexual health needs, and I want to make sure that we think about all of your needs. If it’s okay with you, I’d like to talk with you about resources to help you take care of your sexual health.

Conversation Starters

Related to their
right
to getting SRH
information
Relationships, sex, and birth control can be confusing and complicated. I can help you find information and resources about these topics.
Related to their right
to consent and
confidentiality
As an adult, you have the right to consent to your own health care, and all the healthcare services that you receive are confidential, which means that information about your health cannot be shared without your permission. Being in foster care does not change any of these rights.
Note: If <18, use the approach suggested for middle adolescents.
Related to their right
to access SRH
services and the case
manager’s role in
removing or
mitigating barriers
Even when you know what you need and where to go for care, things can get in the way. If you need help with figuring out your insurance or payment for care, transportation, childcare, or anything else that is keeping you from being able to take care of yourself, talk with me about it. I am here to support you in taking care of yourself.