The Baltimore Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative for Out-of-Home Youth is an initiative to promote positive sexual and reproductive health outcomes among out-of-home (OOH) youth utilizing a systematic holistic approach to sexuality education and contraceptive/sexual reproductive health services interventions. This initiative was established with funding from the Personal Responsibility and Education Program (PREP)funding designed to align with the expectations outlined by Congress in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is led by the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) and was initially awarded with a five-year subcontract, which has recently been extended for another five years. The Baltimore Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative for Out-of-Home Youth is one of ten programs under Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).
The primary activities include collaborating with stakeholders to develop a systematic, holistic approach that provides reproductive health information, education and outreach; peer and significant adult education; and organizational support to achieve a change in teen pregnancy prevention knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among Baltimore’s youth in out-of-home placements ages 14-21. There are two components to the initiative, the youth component and adult component:
- Youth Component: An evidence-based intervention specifically designed for youth in out-of-home settings in DSS and/or DJS, using the Power through Choices/Making Proud Choices curriculum; and program evaluation to compare changes in teen pregnancy knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors
- Adult Component: An adolescent reproductive health intervention for youth providers from the DSS workforce, DJS workforce, as well as foster parents from both agencies; and program evaluation to compare changes in providers’ knowledge and behaviors.
The expected outcomes and goals are consistent for both interventions.
- Reduce risk behaviors in youth ages 14-21 to acquire knowledge and skills to avoid births and sexually transmitted infections
- Provide structured professional development and training to youth providers on adolescent reproductive health, contraceptives, and healthy sexuality;
- Increase access to care including promoting Title X Clinics for reproductive healthcare; as well as improve awareness of policies and protocols related to adolescent sexual reproductive health care.