In 2021, our team surveyed and interviewed healthcare professionals across Texas who provide services to adolescents in foster care. We sought to understand the training and professional development needs of healthcare providers regarding sexual and reproductive health service provision for adolescents in foster care, what sexual and reproductive health services they offer to adolescents, their opinions and beliefs about the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents in care, and the challenges they experience in meeting those needs.
Our new report presents findings from 11 providers about their professional experiences and needs drawn from 31 survey responses and insights from individual and group interviews. Major findings include:
- Limited training on trauma, interpersonal youth violence, trauma-informed care, and the specific needs of youth in care;
- Gaps in adoption of trauma-informed and inclusive practices by clinics;
- Need for clarification on youth rights and limitations to confidentiality; and
- Lack of guidance on sexual health, STI and unintended pregnancy prevention, and healthy relationships for younger adolescents
- Lack of resources for pre-visit preparation and post-visit follow up and health information for youth and caregivers
Our researchers developed recommendations based on these findings, including providing additional training and guidance for providers and creating targeted resources for youth and caregivers.