The Foster Youth Sexual Health Education Act, Senate Bill 89 (SB89), went into effect on July 1, 2017. This law does five specific things:
- Ensures young people in foster care age 10 and older, including non-minor dependents, have access to education, information, and services about their sexual and reproductive health
- Confirms that they receive comprehensive sexual education by requiring that case workers document when they receive that education in middle and high school or arrange to receive it if they missed it in school
- Specifies what additional information should be provided to youth in care, specifically information about their rights related to sexual and reproductive wellness
- Clarifies what is to be documented in the young person’s case plan, and
- Mandates training for case workers, judges, and caregivers.
The new training requirements for case workers, foster caregivers, and judges are:
- The rights of youth and young adults in foster care to sexual and reproductive health care services and information.
- Those rights include the confidentiality of sensitive health information, and the reasonable and prudent parent standard.
- How to document sexual and reproductive health services in a case plan.
- The duties and responsibilities of the assigned case management worker and the foster care provider in ensuring youth and young adults in foster care have access to sexual and reproductive health services and information.
- Guidance about how to engage with youth and young adults about healthy sexual development and reproductive and sexual health in a manner that is medically accurate, developmentally and age-appropriate, trauma-informed, and strengths-based.
- Information about current contraception methods, prevention of sexually transmitted infection, and
- How to select and provide appropriate referral resources and materials for information and service delivery.
The training requirement for caregivers is that some sexual and reproductive wellness training be included in their pre-service education, and training about sexual and reproductive wellness be made available to them, but resource families are not required to select this topic as part of their annual training hours.