Teal house with ReSHAPING logo inside set on green and blue hills with evergreen trees and a banner that says ReSHAPING has a new home!
ReSHAPING Launches Partnership with Healthy Teen Network and New Website

Looking for the latest research on sexual health and adolescent parents in out of home care? We have it for you on ReSHAPING’s brand new website.

By Claudette Grinnell-Davis, PhD, MS, MSW

By Bryn King, PhD, MSW

October 27, 2020

Do you know where you can find the latest research in one place?

If it’s about sexual health and adolescent parents in out of home care, then it’s on ReSHAPING’s brand new website: www.reshapingnetwork.org.

ReSHAPING brings together an international network of scholars spanning the fields of social work, public health, public policy, and psychology dedicated to collaborative research on understanding youth needs and improving their outcomes related to sexual health and parenting.  We focus on youth who are homeless, trafficked, or in out-of-home environments, whether in child welfare, juvenile justice, or other systems.

And the name…well, that stands for Research on Sexual Health and Adolescent Parenting in Out of Home Environments Group.

But we like ReSHAPING because it highlights our commitment to improving supports and services for youth experiencing out of home placements and the ways we can support their own healthy bodies and relationships, as well as the fledgling relationships they have with their own young children.

But we like ReSHAPING because it highlights our commitment to improving supports and services for youth experiencing out of home placements and the ways we can support their own healthy bodies and relationships, as well as the fledgling relationships they have with their own young children.

We’ve partnered with Healthy Teen Network because our interests are aligned—we’ve got the latest research, and Healthy Teen Network has you, their members. And both of us just want to make sure it’s easy for you to find the information and resources you need.

We know talking about sex and relationships with young people is never easy, and it’s especially not easy with young people who are placed away from their families and who may need those conversations most. However, we know from our research that it’s vitally important, not only for the youth themselves but also for their children, current or future, to be as supportive and open with them as possible as they develop their sense of self around sexual orientation and gender identity, make smart and empowering decisions around intimate relationships and sexual activity, and learn how to build nurturing relationships with their own children. 

Through this partnership—the very definition of research to practice—we hope that direct service providers such as yourselves can find and apply the latest research to support and empower young people to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Generous funding from The Annie E. Casey Foundation has supported the creation of this partnership.

ReSHAPING Members include prominent researchers:

Get the latest research in one place at www.reshapingnetwork.org.

Claudette Grinnell-Davis is an assistant professor in the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work at the University of Oklahoma. Her research interests in child welfare prevention and the etiology of child maltreatment grew out of her practice experience as a family reunification specialist, where she realized that the services parents received while separated from their children did not correspond well to the underlying reasons for removal from care. Operating from a clinical ecosystems framework, she maintains that multiple risk factors and pathways into child welfare system involvement requires a constellation of interventions available for best results; the primary problem then becomes identifying and prioritizing intervention targets. She is also particularly interested on how to improve child welfare outcomes for Native American parents and how historical trauma influences maladaptive parenting practices. Dr. Grinnell-Davis is a non-status descendant of Anishinaabeg peoples of the Canadian Great Lakes region and identifies culturally as Indigenous. Read more.

Dr. Aparicio conducts community-engaged research in order to improve health equity via three interrelated areas: teen pregnancy prevention and parenting support; early childhood intervention; and child maltreatment prevention. She works to serve as a conduit for community voices, especially of maltreated parenting youth, to become a critical part of the conversation on the practices and policies that directly impact them. Dr. Aparicio worked for 9 years as a social worker with parenting foster youth and as an early childhood mental health specialist before entering academia. Dr. Aparicio is currently an assistant professor of behavioral and community health where she teaches courses in qualitative research methods, human sexuality, and community health engagement; mentors amazing students; and conducts applied and intervention research in Maryland and Hawaii with youth who are in foster care, homeless, or justice-involved. Read more.