Guidance on how to support sexually active foster youth

Q: My 16 year-old foster daughter told me that she is having sex with her boyfriend. I am not sure what to do and what is my role, versus the role of the social worker or her biological parents. This is a sensitive topic. Is there any official guidance from the state on what I should do?

A: The California Department of Social Services’ Community Care Licensing Division (CCL) has released a technical support resource guide for children’s residential facilities and resource families to address just this question.  The guide identifies five specific steps for caregivers to take in situation:

1.) The caregiver can review the Reproductive and Sexual Health Care Rights with the youth.

2.) The caregiver can offer reliable, non-biased information on safe sex and birth control to the youth.

3.) The caregiver can direct the youth to reliable websites with information about various types of birth control methods for pregnancy prevention.

4.) The caregiver can assist the youth in making an appointment with a health provider who can explain different birth control options.

5.) The caregiver shall provide transportation to the health care appointment.

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