• June 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 6

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Sexual Health Services for Youth in Care

Youth in foster care experience early sexual activity, pregnancy, and teen parenting at a higher rate than their peers who are not in foster care. An article in a recent issue of the National Center for Youth Law's Youth Law News explores the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommended standards of care for developing youth as outlined in the Bright Futures program. It then compared these standards to the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) program services required and/or available for children and youth enrolled in Medicaid. The article explores health education, appropriate screening and tests for sexually transmitted infections, family planning services and supplies, and scheduling appointments and transportation assistance. The National Center for Youth Law found that, although some gaps in services exist, the services available under Medicaid for youth in foster care are generally consistent with the recommended standards of care guidelines established in Bright Futures.

This is the second article in a series looking at teen pregnancy among youth in foster care. The first article in the series, "Cause for Concern: Unwanted Pregnancy and Childbirth Among Adolescents in Foster Care," presented data indicating higher rates of pregnancy among youth in care than among their counterparts and highlighted various barriers to reproductive health care services for youth in foster care.

"Assessing Accessibility: Do Teens in Foster Care Have Access to the Full Range of Reproductive Health Care Services Under Medicaid?" by Jennifer Friedman, Youth Law News, 32(2), 2013, is available here:


"Cause for Concern: Unwanted Pregnancy and Childbirth Among Adolescents in Foster Care," by Jennifer Friedman, Youth Law News, 32(1), 2013, is available here:


Information about Bright Futures is available here:


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