Diverse Youth

Working with Diverse Adolescents and Young Adults

Adolescent and Young Adult Men Focus Group Facilitator Guide


Adolescent and Young Adult Men Focus Group Facilitator Guide is a resource for organizations that wish to learn more about the health and wellness concerns of the adolescent and young adult men (AYAM) utilizing their programs and services. To further facilitate the use of this guide, we have provided customizable Word documents of supporting documents…

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Advocacy for Pregnant and Parenting Teens in Foster Care


Healthy Teen Network and the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law collaborated to provide answers to some common questions practitioners face when advocating for pregnant and parenting teens in foster care. The answers can be helpful in your advocacy efforts.

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Characteristics of Youth-Friendly Health Care Services


Many of the barriers that youth face in accessing health services are unique to young people due to their stage in life and associated special needs, perceptions, and abilities. Youth-friendly services are services that all adolescents are able to obtain, and these services should meet adolescents’ expectations and needs and improve their health. Youth-friendly services…

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Connecting with Youth


This time of year—when teachers are prepping their rooms and their lessons for the new year and students are shopping for new clothes and supplies—I always feel nostalgic for the time I spent in the classroom, teaching high school English. For me, one of the most rewarding things about teaching was connecting with students, and…

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Cultural Norms When It Comes to “The Talk”


Research shows that parent-adolescent communication about sex can protect against risky sexual behaviors in teens. So what happens to those who, by cultural nature, do not receive such warnings? Know a teen of Latino or Asian immigrant parents? Did you know that you might be the ONLY person who talks to them about sexual development?…

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DACA Through the Life of One Young Man


After almost two decades of positive steps at the federal level to promote an inclusive and just society, we see a dramatic turn in policy that shuts doors to specific sectors of the population. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is an example of a policy that has helped hundreds of thousands of…

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Do Latino Youth Really Want to Get Pregnant?


While teen births rates are rapidly dropping, the disparity between Latino girls and their White and Black peers is still noticeable. This disparity has led researchers and program administrators alike to ask themselves…how much of Latino teen pregnancies are intended? It is not an unusual question since the number of unintended pregnancies is quite high.…

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Early Experiences Matter


Guest Blog Post by Stephanie Guinosso, PhD “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” –Fredrick Douglass Many people are now familiar with the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, which involved over 17,000 adult Kaiser patients who were asked about adversities they experienced in childhood (i.e., sexual, physical and emotional abuse,…

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Engaging Youth…On Their Turf: Creative Approaches to Connecting Youth through Community


Healthy Teen Network believes it is the youth most disengaged from our usual systems of care and ultimately those most in need of positive messages and support. We believe it is our duty to find these young people and use any means possible to support their healthy development and transition to adulthood. We recognize the…

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Evidence-Based Program Update! Power Through Choices


Power Through Choices is an evidence-based, innovative sexuality education and skill-building curriculum designed with and for youth living in foster care and other out of-home care settings to help reduce risks related to teen pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). “Our findings establish the Power Through Choices program as one of the first and…

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Foster Youth Need Sex Ed, Too!: Addressing the Sexual Risk Behaviors of System-Involved Youth (Webinar Recording)


All young people experience important developmental milestones on their path to becoming healthy adults, and while this time of change is full of promise, it can also be a time of increased vulnerability or risk. For system-involved youth (e.g., youth in child welfare or juvenile services), navigating this time of change can be fraught with…

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Generate My Healthy Future Plan


Welcome to Your Healthy Future! Hello! Sometime soon, you will become an adult, and along with that will come a lot of responsibilities but also opportunities to make your own choices and pursue your dreams. Adolescence—the time you are 13 to 24 years—may be a period of some stress. But it’s also a time for…

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Generate My Healthy Future Plan Postcard for Parents and Caring Adults


Generate My Healthy Future Plan product promotional materials (poster and postcard for parents and adult caregivers) are designed support the Generate My Healthy Future Plan activity for adolescent and young adult men, parents, caring adults, and health educators. Download the postcard (below) to print your own copies for dissemination. Postcards are designed to print 2…

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Generate My Healthy Future Plan: Guide


How Do I Use the Guide? To use the Guide, go back to the Questionnaire. For each question, look at your answer. Now go to the section of the Guide with information related to your answer. The Guide has more information about each of the 20 healthy future subjects: The “101”: Brief introduction to the…

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Generate My Healthy Future Plan: Health Educator Resource and Opportunities (HERO) Guide


The Health Educator Resource and Opportunities (HERO) Guide is an online publication for health educators and youth-supporting organizations to educate them about the health and wellness interests of adolescent and young adult and improve their support to young men on those interests. We developed the Generate My Healthy Future Plan Group Activity Planning Guide (along with complementary templates )…

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Healthiest Nation 2030


Compared with people in other high-income countries, Americans have shorter life expectancies and experience more health problems. A variety of social determinants–some within our control, but many not–shape our health. At Healthy Teen Network, we strongly believe it’s important to integrate these social determinants of health to more effectively influence individual behavior and health outcomes.…

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HIV Trends among High School Students and Young Adults


Significant health disparities among racial and ethnic groups persist. Adolescents and young adults who are African American, American Indian, or Latino—especially those living in poverty—experience greater health disparities when compared to their White peers.[1] Most often, the leading causes of illness and death for young people are preventable: adolescent and young adult health outcomes, grounded in…

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Honoring LGBTQ People as Equal


The most recent senseless act of terror based in fear and hate affirms this call to action to let love reign over fear. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, the people of Orlando, and the LGBTQ community around the world. “There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from…

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Honoring LGBTQ+ People as Equal


A Statement of Inclusion Healthy Teen Network declares it way past time to let go of fear of LGBTQ+ people once and for all and let love reign in its stead. Fear manifests itself in health and socioeconomic disparities among the LGBTQ+ population compared to their heterosexual peers, including in substance use, HIV disease, suicide,…

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Inclusion Starts with Language


As someone who has been questioning their gender for quite a while, it can be confusing, anxiety-inducing, and just plain irritating to be subjected to the gendered language we all encounter on a daily basis. Deciding to check the box for “female”–the gender I was assigned at birth–on surveys and forms takes more energy than…

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Keep It Simple: A Lesson in Linking Teens to Sexual Health Care Facilitator’s Guide


The Keep It Simple: Linking Teens to Sexual Health Care lesson plan and accompanying video, or motion graphic, is designed to help link young men and women, ages 15-19, to trusted, “teen friendly” contraceptive and reproductive healthcare providers (also available in Spanish). Read more on this resource here.

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Learning Walks: First Nations Community Health Source


To uncover and share the invisible work behind the concrete and measurable deliverables, Healthy Teen Network conducted Learning Walks with three agencies. Learning Walk is a popular strategy used in the education field by which an external observer visits a community to document lessons learned, provide input to guide decision-making for future project funding, and gain understanding of the impact that…

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Learning Walks: Indigenous Peoples Task Force


To uncover and share the invisible work behind the concrete and measurable deliverables, Healthy Teen Network conducted Learning Walks with three agencies. Learning Walk is a popular strategy used in the education field by which an external observer visits a community to document lessons learned, provide input to guide decision-making for future project funding, and…

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Learning Walks: Wind River


To uncover and share the invisible work behind the concrete and measurable deliverables, Healthy Teen Network conducted Learning Walks with three agencies. Learning Walk is a popular strategy used in the education field by which an external observer visits a community to document lessons learned, provide input to guide decision-making for future project funding, and…

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Lessons Learned in Providing Health Care Services for Native Youth


The Native Youth Project (NYP) was a national learning collaborative facilitated by the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), Healthy Teen Network, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that engaged seven community-based organizations serving American Indian youth to support the communities to select, adapt, and implement evidence-based programs. However, what the…

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LGBTQ+-Who? | Game & Presentation


Healthy Teen Network High School Intern Hannah Murray created this presentation and game to help viewers and participants learn more about the LGBTQ+ community. A short Prezi presentation (below), titled LGBTQ+ – Who?!, outlines basic-yet-important information about gender, sexual identity, and the critical need to better meet the needs of LGBTQ+ youth, generally. The presentation includes a…

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LGTBTQ+ – Who? …Go Find Out! Using Gaming to Learn about Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Youth


Last summer, we were lucky to spend a month with high school senior, Hannah Murray. Hannah lives in Iowa City, IA, and she is particularly interested in issues related to gender and identity. As she and her friends have learned more about gender identity, Hannah wanted to find a way to help people talk about…

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Men Are Not Okay (Either)


I recently attended a conference of progressives that included a segment on identity. The populations that speakers represented and whose concerns were addressed included Latinx immigrants, people who identify or express as transgender, and American Muslims. I have no complaints with the selection of these identity groups as populations of focus at an identity conference.…

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Mattie Tomeo-Parker

Native VOICES: American Indian & Alaska Native Youth Making Healthy Choices


Guest Blog by Mattie Tomeo-Palmanteer Adolescent health and positive youth development are important issues for many tribal communities. Good adolescent health provides a strong foundation for adult health. However, some adolescents’ choices can have serious life-threatening consequences. Without options and direction, many youth take milestone steps that impact their adulthood without even being aware that…

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Other Resources: Diverse Adolescents and Young Adults


View Healthy Teen Network Diverse Youth Resources here. Other Resources:

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Position Statement: Ensuring Equity for Youth by Addressing the Intersectionality of Gender, Race, and Sexuality


Healthy Teen Network believes that addressing social and ecological conditions unique to members of historically marginalized populations (such as people who are women, First Nation/Indigenous, African-American, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander, and/or LGBTQ+) is critical for these populations to achieve justice and equitable health and well-being outcomes. Healthy Teen Network shares position statements on relevant issues…

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Position Statement: Human Trafficking


Healthy Teen Network supports the development and delivery of resources and services for youth who are victims and survivors of human trafficking. Healthy Teen Network calls upon all organizations that interact with youth, including hospitals, health centers, law enforcement agencies, child welfare agencies, juvenile justice authorities, youth-supporting organizations, and schools to screen youth to assess…

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Immigrant youth

Position Statement: Sexual & Reproductive Health Services for Immigrant Youth


Healthy Teen Network believes that immigrant youth (people aged 24 and younger without U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status) deserve comprehensive sexuality education and optimal sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in order to achieve whole health. Sexual and reproductive health services should be designed and delivered with consideration for immigrant youth. Healthy Teen…

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Poverty Is Not Destiny and Pregnancy Is Not a Disease: Changing Our View of Adolescent Health (Webinar Recording)


The frame with which we view issues affecting teen health and well-being defines our language and informs our responses.  When teen pregnancy is considered a disease that must be prevented, we think of interventions that affect individual behavior, and we think of teen pregnancy as an individual failure. This kind of thinking promotes a culture…

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Power Through Choices: Evidence of Success with System-Involved Youth


Guest Blog Post by Sharon Rodine & Janene Fluhr Research shows youth in foster care and juvenile justice systems are far more likely to become pregnant or get someone pregnant, compared to youth in the general population. System-involved youth have experienced chronic trauma, abuse/neglect, and family dysfunction; may face mental health and substance abuse challenges;…

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Preventing Teen Pregnancy Among Marginalized Youth


Developing a Policy, Program, and Research Agenda for the Future Healthy Teen Network, with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has long explored how to better meet the needs of marginalized youth and subsequently reduce their risk for early pregnancy and parenting. In 2008, a year-long effort included a review of the literature on…

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Promoting Successful Transition from Foster/Group Home Settings to Independent Living among Pregnant and Parenting Teens


Summary Report The summary report, “Promoting Successful Transition from Foster/Group Home Settings to Independent Living Among Pregnant and Parenting Teens,” generously supported by the Freddie Mac Foundation discusses the difficulties facing teenagers in foster care/group settings and the policy that surrounds it.

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Quick Tips on Gender, Sexuality, and Inclusive Sex Education


Assuming someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation based on how they look, assuming that all young people are only attracted to the “opposite” gender, teaching that there are only opposite genders (boys and girls, and ignoring others). These are all examples where sex education may make youth of different identities, genders, or orientations not feel…

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Race v. Racism


I was asked recently if I could recommend an expert on the impact of race on teen pregnancy. The question reminded me of when I taught at a local HBCU and was educated by the researchers there about the difference between the use of the terms “race” and “racism.” It is a lesson I think I…

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Resources: Working with Diverse Adolescents and Young Adults


We have organized resources for working with diverse youth by topic to help you find what you need: Healthy Teen Network Resources for Working with Diverse Adolescents and Young Adults Latinx Youth LGBTQ+ Youth Native Youth System-Involved Youth Young Men Young People Who Are Pregnant/Parenting Youth in Out-of-Home Care Other Resources Latinx Youth LGBTQ+ Youth…

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Taking Action to Become More Youth-Friendly


Youth are often hesitant or unable to access adequate health services, especially when it comes to reproductive and sexual health. Reasons that youth do not receive care include lack of knowledge about services, inability to go to the clinic during operating hours, poor knowledge about health consequences, concern over privacy, and inability to pay. Adolescence…

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Teen Pregnancy Rates among LGBTQ Youth Might Be Higher Than You Would Expect


Guest Blog Post by Alia Gehr-Seloover In working with LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning) populations over the years, I’ve noticed that is has been widely assumed that these youth don’t require pregnancy prevention education. In fact, this population is two to seven times more likely than heterosexual youth to be involved in a…

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Texas Takes a Trauma-Informed Approach to Preventing Pregnancy Among Disconnected Youth


When Cardea Services set out to launch a teen pregnancy prevention program for disconnected youth in Texas, they soon realized participants were at increased risk for sexual assault and other traumatic experiences. The Competitive Personal Responsibility Education Program (C-PREP) grantee decided to adopt a trauma-informed approach in its Connections Project, which delivers evidence-based programming to…

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The Frame Makes the Picture: Creating a Positive Picture of Pregnant and Parenting Teens (Webinar Recording)


What we think and how we feel about something has a lot to do with how it is presented—or framed. For example, think about particularly lively children and how our reactions might differ if we call them “curious,” as opposed to “hyperactive.” Teen parents have been labeled many things since the mid-1970s, and most of…

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The Importance of Teen Voices: “Nothing about Us without Us”


Guest Blog Post by Judith W. Herrman, PhD, RN, ANEF For some of us, remembering how teens think means only to conjure up our thoughts from a few years ago. For others, it feels like ancient history and requires some time and effort to truly represent the thoughts of a young person. But it is…

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The Power of Youth: 5 Takeaways


Guest Blog Post by Alia Gehr-Seloover I was one of several scholarship recipients who attended Healthy Teen Network’s annual conference, The Power of Youth: Joining Forces to Achieve Positive Outcomes, last month in Minneapolis. This was an amazing opportunity for me to network with knowledgeable professionals from around the country who are incredibly invested in…

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Tip Sheet: Characteristics of Youth-Friendly Clinical Services


Youth-friendly services are services that all adolescents are able to obtain, and these services, which include full contraceptive coverage to avoid unintended pregnancies and STIs, should meet youth’s expectations and needs and improve their health. This tip sheet highlights characteristics of youth-friendly programming, facilities, and providers. See our other resources on youth-friendly services: Youth-Friendly Services…

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Tip Sheet: Classroom Management


Frontline staff require classroom management skills and supervisor support to create a safe space and productive learning environment for adolescent pregnancy prevention program delivery. This tip sheet describes strategies for frontline staff to prevent and respond to challenging student behavior, as well as tips for how supervisors can support staff’s efforts to manage the classroom…

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Tip Sheet: Gender, Sexuality, & Inclusive Sex Education


Assuming someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation based on how they look, assuming that all young people are only attracted to the “opposite” gender, teaching that there are only opposite genders (boys and girls, and ignoring others). These are all examples where sex education may make youth of different identities, genders, or orientations not feel…

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Tip Sheet: Referrals and Linkages to Youth-Friendly Health Care Services


Youth-friendly health care services are those that attract young people, respond to their needs, and retain young clients for continuing care. Youth-friendly services are based on a comprehensive understanding of what young people want and need (rather than being based only on what providers believe youth need). Adolescents are often reluctant to seek health care…

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Tip Sheet: Youth 360°: How & Where Youth Live, Learn, & Play Matters


The Social-Ecological Health Promotion Model & Social Determinants of Health This two-page resource provides a brief overview of the interrelated spheres of health (individual, relationship, community, and society) in the Social-Ecological Health Promotion Frame and the Social Determinants of Health that influence individual behavior and health outcomes. Healthy Teen Network promotes the social-ecological health promotion…

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Weaving Life Skills into PREP Programming


To prevent teen pregnancy and protect young people from relationship violence, Alaska needed an approach that covered a lot of ground. Alaska’s Personal Responsibility Education Program (Alaska PREP) was the solution. Alaska PREP goes into state schools and offers The Fourth R, an evidence-based curriculum that focuses on healthy relationships, positive adolescent development, and life skills.…

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What Are Our Areas of Expertise?


Healthy Teen Network staff bring a diverse range of subject matter expertise, with years of experience providing capacity-building assistance. We possess the skills-building training, TA, elearning, instructional design, evaluation, and resource development skills to work with both youth and adults. Our highly qualified staff can meet your needs, across a range of services. Areas of…

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Widening Our Lens


This brochure, Widening Our Lens, presents a comprehensive strategy to address the impact of child maltreatment, interpersonal, and family violence on youth. See also, Boys Will Be Boys: Understanding the Impact of Child Maltreatment and Family Violence on the Sexual, Reproductive, and Parenting Behaviors of Young Men.

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Words Matter: Using Language to Disrupt Rape Culture


Words matter. Language matters. Pictures matter. Imagery matters. These are tools used to create and sustain rape culture, where actions matter, where actions hurt people. We’re hearing a lot about sexual assault right now, but unfortunately, it seems like we always are. The issue, and our outrage, rises and falls with the news story of…

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Young Women United: Empowering Women to Make Thoughtful Decisions about Their Own Bodies and Lives


Healthy Teen Network is pleased to award Young Women United our very first Youth 360° Innovation Award. Young Women United (YWU) has been selected because of their fearlessness in calling out the social injustices young families face and reframing the conversation around young parenthood and sexual and reproductive health. As part of YWU’s work to…

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Youth-Friendly Services Assessment Tool and Guide


This resource includes an interactive tool, including a guide and complete bibliography, to help you assess if your clinic delivers services in a youth-friendly way. Offering youth-friendly services means that clinical services are provided in a way that makes it easy and comfortable for youth to seek out and receive the services they need. Key…

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