Q: I understand that Senate Bill 89 requires county child welfare agencies to ensure that foster youth receive comprehensive sexual education once in middle school and once in high school. I’m working with a youth who missed this class in her high school.
The child welfare agency has attempted to work with the school so that she can take it out of sequence, but it doesn’t appear to be an option. Who can the county worker refer her to in order to receive the required education?
A: You are correct. The California Foster Youth Sexual Health Education Act (Senate Bill 89), which went into effect on July 1, 2017 requires the county child welfare caseworker to ensure that every youth age 10 and older, including non-minor dependents if still in high school, receive comprehensive sexual education (CSE) once in middle school and once in high school. For youth who do not receive CSE, child welfare workers must document in the case plan how that requirement will be met.
The California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA) requires that schools provide CSE to students, however some foster youth miss this course as a result of school changes or absences. For a youth who misses CSE, the child welfare worker should first try to coordinate with the student’s school/district to provide the course out of sequence, over the summer, or if a multi-school district, at another school. If this is not possible, the child welfare worker must refer that student to a community-based provider to receive CSE.
To find a provider in your area, first check this roster to see if there is an organization funded to provide CSE through the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) or the Information & Education (I&E) Program. If there is not a PREP or I&E provider in your area, refer to this statewide roster of Planned Parenthood affiliates, which notes whether they provide CHYA-compliant CSE for interested parties.
For more information about SB 89, visit a page on the JBAY website: http://www.jbaforyouth.org/california-foster-youth-sexual-health-education-act-sb89/.
Statewide Planned Parenthood Roster maintained by JBAY: http://www.jbaforyouth.org/plannedparenthoodlist/