Q: I am with an Foster Family Agency. What guidance should I give Resource Families about a foster youth’s right to obtain and use contraception, specifically any requirements about storing birth control pills.
A: First, you should inform Resource Families that youth and young adults in foster care have the right to consent to or decline medical care (without need for consent from a parent, caregiver, guardian, social worker, probation officer, court, or authorized representative) for:
- The prevention or treatment of pregnancy, including contraception, at any age (except sterilization).
- An abortion, at any age.
- Diagnosis and treatment of sexual assault, at any age.
- The prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of STIs, at age 12 or older.
This is one of ten reproductive and sexual health rights of foster youth outlined in All County Letter 16-81 CDSS provides the following guidance about storing prescriptive contraception medicine, such as birth control pills:
“Resource families are not required to centrally store prescription medications. For youth under the age of 18, the resource family shall use the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard (RPPS) to determine whether it is appropriate for the youth to have access to medications for self-administration (FFA ILS, § 88487.3(c)(2); RFA Written Directives (WD), § 11-03(c)(2)). For youth who are 18 or older, the resource family shall permit the youth to access medications necessary for self-administration (FFA ILS, § 88487.3(d)(2); RFA WD, § 11-03(d)(2)).”
Source: All County Letter 16-81, CCL’s: “Healthy Sexual Development Resource Guide for Children’s Residential Facilities and Resource Families”