Wednesday, March 12, 2008: 11:30 AM
STD rates are disproportionately represented in adolescents; however, STD staff rarely posses, or are trained on the competencies essential for working effectively with adolescent populations on sexual and reproductive health.
To develop adolescent-specific competencies appropriate for all staff that provide STD, HIV/AIDS, and/or pregnancy prevention services to adolescents.
A subcommittee of the California Adolescent Sexual Health Work Group (ASHWG) was formed to develop core competencies (CC) for multidisciplinary providers of adolescent reproductive and sexual health. The subcommittee conducted three phases of development, review, and revision of the CC, including examination by a panel of national experts in adolescent sexual health.
A total of fifty one mutually-inclusive core competencies were developed across five domains of adolescent sexual and reproductive health. The Professional and Legal domain addresses legal responsibilities and professional/personal boundaries. The Adolescent Development domain addresses adolescent cognitive, psycho-social, emotional, and physical development. The Youth Development/Youth Culture domain addresses the youth development approach, resiliency, and youth culture. The Sexual/Reproductive Health domain addresses stages of sexual development, human sexual response, sexual relationships, and gender/sexual identity issues. The Pregnancy, STDs, and HIV domain addresses fundamental understanding of these topic-specific areas. Implementation of the core competencies has been adopted as a Title V objective by the California MCAH/OFP Branch.
There is interdisciplinary support to adopt adolescent sexual and reproductive health core competencies to ensure consistent, appropriate, and effective services for adolescent populations across STD, HIV, and pregnancy prevention programs.
STD programs can utilize the core competencies to develop staff training and development modules on adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Adoption of these core competencies can enhance collaboration, cross-training, and service integration among multidisciplinary adolescent programs.
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