RHEP is here to promote evidence-informed strategies that reduce unplanned pregnancies and dismantle systemic barriers to sexual and reproductive health education and service access for youth in foster care. Reach out to get involved, learn more about the RHEP, or to let us know about a resource you need that isn’t on the website. We also provide sexual and reproductive health trainings for foster youth, caregivers, social workers, health providers, and/or judicial officers.
The Los Angeles Reproductive Health Equity Project for Foster Youth (LA RHEP) brings together foster youth and the agencies that serve them to promote evidence-informed strategies that reduce unplanned pregnancies and dismantle systemic barriers to sexual and reproductive health education and service access for youth in foster care. Our goal is to dramatically reduce unintended pregnancy rates for youth in care over the next ten years.
Our key strategies include:
LA RHEP is a collective impact project. Los Angeles has many advocacy and governmental organizations with a long history of important public and private efforts designed to support pregnant and parenting foster youth. These organizations have successfully developed innovative programs and coordinated efforts in the past and continue to do so. Yet, Los Angeles County is large and serves many children in foster care, thus making coordinated efforts to reach and improve outcomes for all foster youth a challenge.
Collective impact is a new way of working together to tackle the particularly sticky and complicated big issues. It is a framework that allows organizations from different sectors and with different expertise to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems in a coordinated way.
LA RHEP’s development is led by a cross-sector leadership team that includes the agencies listed on the About Us page. The National Center for Youth Law provides backbone support for the Los Angeles Reproductive Health Equity Project for Foster Youth.
LA RHEP is a new initiative. We are currently seeking partners who are interested in:
For more information, please contact LA RHEP’s Director Lesli LeGras at email@example.com
Sexual and reproductive health intersect in complex ways with other influences in a child and teen’s life over their time in care, including among others, economic and educational opportunities, the availability of safe relationships and placements, and the influence of explicit and implicit bias. Successfully addressing unplanned pregnancy prevention requires coordinated efforts with youth, caregivers, agencies, and state systems at many tiers and across all ages. To ensure L.A. County foster youth can take ownership of their bodies and sexual and reproductive health and reduce unplanned pregnancy, it is critical foster youth:
LA RHEP is generously funded in substantial part by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
Los Angeles County currently serves 35,800 youth in foster care and is the largest child welfare system in California. About 30% are between the ages of 11 and 17, and 11.5% are 18-21. 49.6% are male and 50.4% are female. Los Angeles’ child welfare system is disproportionately represented with children of color: 58.7% are Latino, 29% are Black and 10.5% are White.
Foster youth self-report a disproportionately high rate of unwanted pregnancy. This unconscionably high rate of unwanted pregnancy highlights that barriers are impeding youth in foster care from realizing their intent.
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