With a $5.4 million three year grant, the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing (TXICFW) within the Steve Hicks School of Social Work will lead the Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative to build relationships across child welfare and adolescent health systems to promote optimal health for child welfare-involved youth. The Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative (the Initiative) will build relationships across child welfare and adolescent health systems to promote optimal health for child welfare-involved youth.
About 50% of females who experience foster care in the United States are pregnant by age 19 compared to only 33% of girls across the nation who have a pregnancy by that age. Despite disproportionately high pregnancy rates, there are limited interventions and community strategies to help reduce teen pregnancy among foster youth.
In partnership with the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services, the Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative will establish, fund, coordinate, and support a multidisciplinary network of community partners to develop and test cutting edge sexual health interventions for youth and their caregivers. These community partners include Healthy Futures of Texas and the North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens (Ntarupt).
The Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative will support efforts in San Antonio, Dallas, the Rio Grande Valley and Houston to bring together local leaders from child welfare agencies and health education providers to assess the needs in that community for training and skill building of youth and caregivers. Communities will be offered options to develop their own resources, adapt resources or use resources that already exist to meet the identified needs of that community. One additional community will be added in the second year of the project.