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Teen Talk: Foster Youth

A specialized curriculum for youth in foster care
*This program was formerly called Teen Talk Youth in Alternative Settings (YAS)

What is Teen Talk Foster Youth?
Teen Talk Foster Youth is a free, virtual, community-based sex ed series specifically for youth in California foster care, coordinated by the Reproductive Health Equity Project. The curriculum is based on the Teen Talk collection created by curriculum developers, Health Connected.
  • Be in foster care in California (have a social worker or suitably placed through probation)
  • Be between the ages of ages 12-18
  • Have access to Zoom, headphones (recommended for added privacy)
  • Have a non-school related email to receive series information and reminders
  • Live, interactive workshop sessions with Q&A
  • Certificate of completion (can be used by CSW for SB 89 requirement)
  • Opportunity to receive incentives for participation.
 
Series Calendar
Winter 2024 Series: January 16 - 26
Meet the Educators!
Teen Talk Foster Youth is taught by leading educators and community-based organizations within RHEP. Current educator organizations include:
 
More information:
 
Although every public and charter middle and high school in California offers comprehensive sexual health education; too many youth in care miss out because of placement changes and other systemic issues. Youth express a desire for this information and at the same time, youth in foster care also express a desire for a sexual health education program that recognizes their unique needs.
 
The Reproductive Health Equity Project set out to ensure that every youth in California foster care ages 12-18 can receive age-appropriate, medically accurate and trauma-informed sexual health education that is just for them. In efforts to achieve this goal, we developed a virtual sexual health education curriculum and program just for youth in foster care! 
 
Teen Talk Foster Youth is RHEP partner, Health Connected’s newest curriculum designed for and informed by youth who are in foster care. This curriculum meets requirements of the California Healthy Youth Act, as well as the California Foster Youth Sexual Health Education Act. Through collaboration with RHEP partner, Planned Parenthood of Pasadena San Gabriel Valley, it has been adapted for virtual delivery and is now available for youth in foster care across California. Youth have the potential to receive incentives for their participation. 
 
If you are interested in registering for this series on behalf of youth in foster care and/or want to stay updated on series’, please complete the general interest form
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Youth qualify for this program if they are:

  • Between the ages of 12 and 18
  • In foster care, including
    • Various placement types (ie:resource family, STRTP, relative caregiver, etc)
    • Youth suitably placed through probation
    • Youth who are dual supervised by probation and child welfare
    • Youth who are part of the ILP program

Youth who do not qualify for this program include:

  • Youth under the age of 12
  • Youth who are not in foster care
  • Youth who continue to be impacted by the child welfare system, but no longer have a social worker, including:
    • KinGap
    • Guardianship 
  • TTYAS requires a one-to-one, youth to device ratio. As long as youth have access to headphones, a device that connects to Zoom, and a private space, they can participate.

  • Often, school based email addresses automatically filter out emails from outside your school district, meaning you may not receive important information from us, such as series reminders or the webinar link to join. 

  • You will receive the webinar link, by email, the Friday before the session starts and again the morning of the first day of the series in which you are enrolled. 

  • Youth are required to provide us with the name, organization based email and phone number of their social worker, lawyer or group home staff. If someone cannot provide us with this information, they cannot gain access to the webinar. 

  • Values and Resources: Including provider’s responsibilities and where to find a clinic
  • Anatomy and Physiology: brain science, conception 
  • Identities: sex assigned at birth, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
  • Communication and Decision-Making, Relationships: Affirmative consent, communicating boundaries 
  • Violence Prevention: Different forms of interpersonal violence known as abuse such as physical, emotional, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse. 
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections and Barrier Methods: Common STIs and ways to prevent transmission
  • Birth Control: methods used to prevent pregnancy. 
  • Pregnancy Options: Options such as parenting, abortion, adoption and safe surrender  
  • Sex and the Media: how we can think critically about different media
  • Self-Care: Affirmation and positive self- talk
  • No, once the enrollment form for each series is closed, we cannot accept any more enrollments. But, you are welcome to join us for a future series. 

  • The series is presented in zoom webinar format, meaning that participants will not be able to turn their camera on, or see who else is in the room with them in a participant list. This is an interactive webinar, and youth have the option to participate through polls, chats and unmuting. If youth would like to remain completely anonymous, they can change their name in the webinar so that it does not appear if/when they utilize the chat function. However, educators will reach out during the session for their legal name so that we are able to track their attendance.

  • Unfortunately, TTYAS is a completely online program, which means that youth are to be enrolled online and participate online as well. If you need support accessing the internet or a device, please share those concerns with your social worker.

Teen Talk Foster Youth Webinar & information:

The Powerpoint for the webinar is here

Teen Talk Foster Youth (formerly known as Teen Talk Youth in Alternative Settings (YAS)) is a free virtual comprehensive SexEd curriculum created by RHEP partner, Health Connected, based on Health Connected’s acclaimed Teen Talk series used in many California schools. It complies with state curriculum laws, SB 89 requirements, and has been vetted for medical and legal accuracy. It has also been reviewed and tested by former foster youth for appropriateness and fit for youth in care. 

Health Connected is a health education nonprofit with a 25-year track record of developing and implementing sexual health education that is responsive to local community needs, best practices in sexual health education, and legal requirements. Their instructional, training, and caregiver support programs are estimated to have impacted over 400,000 youth across California (CA). Health Connected has developed five nationally distributed sexual health curricula–Puberty Talk for 5-6th graders, Teen Talk Middle School for 7-8th graders, Teen Talk High School for 9-12th graders, Teen Talk High School Refresher for 11-12th graders, and Teen Talk Adapted for All Abilities for students with special needs. Most recently, Health Connected developed its newest curriculum–Teen Talk YAS–based on its acclaimed Teen Talk Middle School and Teen Talk High School curricula.

With the passage of the California Healthy Youth Act in 2016, every public and charter middle and high school in California must provide medically accurate and age-appropriate sexual health education to students. (California Education Code §§ 51930-51939). The curriculum offered must provide pupils with the knowledge and skills to prevent HIV, STIs, and unintended pregnancy; to develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent development, body image, gender, and sexual orientation; and to promote healthy, positive, and safe relationships and behaviors. Instruction must address healthy decision-making, negotiation and refusal skills, information about sexual safety (assault, abuse, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking), and facilitate opportunities for students to communicate with parents and trusted adults.

Recognizing that too many youth in foster care were not getting the sexual health education they need, the Legislature passed the California Foster Youth Sexual Health Education Act in 2017, making child welfare social workers and county agencies responsible for connecting youth to a CHYA-compliant sexual health education provider. If youth have not received a compliant education program in school by the time they are graduating middle school and again at high school graduation (WIC § 16501.1(g)(20)) receipt of sexual health education at these points must be documented in the state online case management system.

Health Connected is offering a train the educator program for Teen Talk YAS. This training is designed to provide program providers working with youth in foster care with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to deliver legally-compliant, trauma-informed and healing-centered sexual health education. See Health Connected’s website for more information.

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