The Sexual and Reproductive Health of Youth in Foster Care

Authored by: Amy Dworsky

Handbook of Foster Youth

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138670785
eBook ISBN: 9781351168243
Adobe ISBN:


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The Sexual and Reproductive Health of Youth in Foster Care: Over the past two decades, growing attention has been paid to promoting the social, emotional, physical, behavioral, and cognitive development of children and youth in foster care. More recently, their sexual and reproductive health have also begun to receive attention, in response to growing evidence that youth in foster care are engaging in early and unprotected sexual behavior, becoming pregnant, and giving birth to or fathering children at higher rates than their same-age peers who are not in foster care. This chapter provides an overview of what we know about sexual behavior, pregnancy, and parenting among this population. It discusses the sexual and reproductive health care needs of this population and how those needs are (or are not) being addressed by federal and state policies. Finally, it examines the state of the evidence on interventions aimed at preventing pregnancy and promoting sexual health among youth in foster care.

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