The purpose of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention grant is to have a significant impact on reducing rates of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and existing health disparities and to put youth on the path to a successful future.
In July 2020, the IL Department of Human Services (IDHS) funded the Will County Health Department to coordinate a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program within the city of Joliet. The grant funding for this program was prioritized for communities with high rates of teenage births and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among African American and Hispanic populations. Joliet’s High School District 204 accounts for over 50% of teen birth in all of Will County.
Will County Health Department is currently collaborating with District 204 on plans for implementation of Positive Prevention Plus (https://www.positivepreventionplus.com/), an evidence-based curricula, in Joliet Central High School and Joliet West High School.
This three-year grant provides our agency with funding for programs, curriculum, training, and community health educators to implement evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention curricula in District 204 high schools. This new evidence-based initiative specifically focuses on reducing the rate of teen pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections, as well as risky sexual behaviors among adolescents.
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grant has five main components to make an impact on Teen Pregnancy in Joliet.
- Implement a comprehensive, evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention curriculum in two high schools in Joliet.
- Establish a Community Advisory Group with individuals from different sectors of the community, including youth and parents.
- Establish a Resource and Referral Guide of teen-friendly providers and increase teen referrals to local service providers.
- Develop a communications campaign to educate the community about Teen Pregnancy Prevention efforts in Joliet.
- Recruit youth and parent Champions to assist with local prevention efforts. The overall theme is to capture the Youth and Parent “Voice” in planning, implementation, and evaluation of this grant and for the bigger picture how their voice can impact what is or will be happening in their community.
To have a lasting impact on reducing rates of teen pregnancy and disparities, youth should receive evidence-based TPP programs at multiple times over the course of their adolescence. Community Health Educators will implement the evidence-based TPP programs to scale with fidelity and quality.
Evidence-Based Curriculum that have been selected for the program
- Positive Prevention Plus: Sexual Health Education for Americas Youth, High School Edition which includes 14 45-minute lessons https://www.positivepreventionplus.com/curriculum/sexual-health-education
- FAQs about the curriculum https://www.positivepreventionplus.com/faqs
Establish a Community Advisory Group
Teen Pregnancy Prevention program staff will mobilize the community by engaging a wide range of community members to create and implement a Community Advisory Board. The purpose of the Community Advisor Group is to function as a leadership team to assist in raising awareness, educating, and building support in the community around the issue of teen pregnancy prevention. The Advisory Group will work toward a shared vision and plan that pools and leverages local resources to enhance the ability of the Joliet community to address teen pregnancy. In addition, a piece of the grant will include parent and youth champions that will be incentivized to help guide the grant and activities. More to come as we begin to develop the Champion framework and recruit parents and teens from Joliet to participate.
The mission of the Sexual Education for All Joliet Alliance (SEAJA) is to reduce teen pregnancy rates in Joliet through community collaboration, education, and positive youth development. SEAJA is comprised of community stakeholders, including service providers from youth-serving organizations, JTHS staff members, community health educators, and other community members just like you! If you are interested in learning more about this group please contact the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program at 815-727-8824 or email@example.com.
Get involved in the Sexual Education for All Joliet Alliance!
Resource Guide/ Provider Referral Guide Development
In an effort to educate and engage the community, Will County Health Department community health educators have compiled a list of resources on their website for teens, parents, and community members. Teen resources include: information on where to access teen-friendly health services, including contraceptives and condoms, in the Joliet area as well as all of Will County, and information on healthcare rights of youth in Illinois.
If you are a teen seeking these services, check out the teen resource guide below.
Teen Resource Guide (4th edition): http://willcountyhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Resource-Guide-2020.pdf
The Teen Pocket Guide
As a teen, going to the doctor for sexual health care- like birth control or STD testing- can be uncomfortable. For you to receive the best care possible, it’s important to be open and honest when discussing your behaviors and concerns. See our convenient, easy-to-carry guide for tips on how to prepare for a sexual health care visit. http://willcountyhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Teen-Pocket-Guide.pdf
Healthcare Rights of Youth in Illinois
According to Illinois law, teens ages 12 and older can access sexual health services without parental consent. This includes testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV, as well as access to contraceptives (birth control). For more information on healthcare rights of youth in Illinois, see the flyer below, created by the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH).
For more information on ICAH and the programs they offer, visit their website at https://www.icah.org/
The Will County Health Department has free condoms available at our community health center in Joliet. See the link below for hours and location! http://willcountyhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Teen-NEW-LOGO.pdf
Teen Sexual Health Services at Will County Community Health Center
The Will County Community Health Center is offers family planning services to teens (ages 12-21). These services include STI testing and treatment, HIV testing, birth control, emergency contraceptives, and condoms. The services are confidential and low-cost for teens. For more information, check out the brochure: http://willcountyhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Teen-NEW-LOGO.pdf