About 50% of females who experience foster care in the United States are pregnant by age 19, compared to 33% of females across the nation. Among youth in the child welfare system, over 40% of males and over 60% of females experience dating violence perpetration and victimization (verbal/psychological, physical, and sexual).
Current policies and practices limit access to vital sexual health information and skill development among youth who experience foster care.
The Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative is a real-life response to these statistics. This project brings together the Steve Hicks School’s Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing with partners that represent the child welfare and adolescent health systems in Texas with the goal of designing interventions that engage youth and caregivers and testing them in the participating communities. All interventions will be medically accurate, age-appropriate, trauma-informed, and user-centered.