Transportation to reproductive & sexual health appointments

Q: Theresa, a sixteen-year old foster youth, has shared with her foster parent that she is pregnant and wants to terminate her pregnancy. Theresa has scheduled an appointment for an abortion and asked her caregiver to drive her. The caregiver shares with Theresa’s social worker she is not comfortable with taking Theresa to an appointment for an abortion.  Theresa’s social worker feels it is the caregiver’s responsibility to transport Theresa to the appointment. What is social worker required by law to do? 

A: The case manager should remind the caregiver of the requirement for her to provide Theresa transportation to medical appointments, which includes appointments for reproductive and sexual health related services. If the caregiver continues to refuse to take Theresa to the appointment, the case manager must transport the youth or elect another trusted adult to transport the youth to the appointment. An appointment for an abortion is time-sensitive, therefore it is important that the case manager ensure that someone, whether it be the caregiver, case manager or another trusted adult, transports Theresa to this appointment promptly. The case manager can also provide the caregiver with a copy of ACL 16-82, which outlines the youth’s right to be provided transportation and other reproductive health rights.

This scenario is from A Guide for Case Managers: Assisting Foster Youth with Sexual Development and Pregnancy, page 14.

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