The TFYHI Young Adult Consultants met virtually for the first time in January 2021. The group consists of eight Young Adult Consultants, all of whom are between ages 18 – 25 and have lived experience in foster care in Texas. Consultants met in two smaller groups to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules. Each group began by sharing their motivation for becoming TFYHI Young Adult Consultants. They then talked about the challenges that youth in care experience around sexual health and relationships and the information and resources they need.
What Are the Challenges Youth in Care Experience?
- Accessing information about sexual health and safer sex supplies
- Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy
- Peer pressure to have sex
- Experiencing judgement by the adults in their lives when they are asking questions about sex or having sex
- Healing from trauma and understanding what healthy behavior and relationships look like
- Believing they do not deserve a healthy relationship or not having support to leave an unhealthy relationship
What Do Youth Need?
- Understanding that sex can be positive and healthy
- Skills to take care of their sexual health and to talk to a partner about sexual boundaries
- Support for healing from trauma and recognizing their value
- Opportunities for safe, non-judgmental conversations about these topics with caregivers
- Time to build open, trusting relationships with caregivers
- Support through setbacks and mistakes because healing isn’t linear
In the next Young Adult Consultant meeting, they will begin to create strategies and materials that meet these needs.