Category Archives: Reproductive & Sexual Health

Foster Youth Reproductive and Sexual Health Rights-Storing Birth Control Pills

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:

  1. The prevention or treatment of pregnancy, including contraception, at any age (except sterilization).
  2. An abortion, at any age.
  3. Diagnosis and treatment of sexual assault, at any age.
  4. 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

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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