Partnering for Youth
Much of CFSS’s work with youth has concentrated on teen pregnancy prevention. While we were encouraged by the 14-year decline in teen pregnancy rates, we are troubled by the recent rise in the teen birth rate as well as the significant increase among unmarried women.
The CFSS abstinence
education program served
nearly 3,500 youth
Childbearing among unmarried women aged 15-44 rose to historic levels in 2007 with the number of births, the birth rate and proportion of births increasing 3 to 5 percent. Unmarried childbearing has increased 26 percent since 2002, when the recent steep increases began.
The Success Sequence
It is difficult to convince youth to follow the “Success Sequence” when our culture and the media bombard youth with images of celebrities and older women having children out of wedlock.
We provide teen pregnancy prevention programs, character development programs, healthy relationship programs and parent support programs designed to assist individuals in developing healthy life skills (attitudes and behaviors). These programs also assist youth in viewing their parent(s) as their primary mentor/role model(s) and teaching parents the skills needed to assume this role.
Our goals are to reduce the number of adolescents who engage in pre-marital sexual activity, reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies among adolescents, reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and educate thousands of adolescents while informing their parents about the benefits of delaying sexual initiation in order to improve their quality of life and health.
CFSS and its schools, community and faith-based partners deliver programs on topics including:
• Character and life skills education
• Refusal skills and self-efficacy education
• Teen pregnancy prevention via abstinence education
• HIV and STD awareness
• Healthy relationship education
• Financial literacy/money management
• Community service learning
• Prevention of teen dating violence
CFSS uses the Families United to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (FUPTP) curriculum, which utilizes a developmental approach to abstinence for girls and boys ages 12 to 18.
The program design includes five curriculum units, skits and role plays, role model presentations, a youth leadership team, parent-child connectedness program, youth/parent-led community service, end-of-program community and family recognition events and an abstinence-until-marriage rally. FUPTP has been used in a total of 14 projects, serving urban and rural communities. The curriculum has been evaluated repeatedly since its inception and improved continuously based on feedback and changing needs.
Feedback showed overwhelming support in the African-American community for abstinence education. We hope to use this support to shape the future of abstinence education programs, which youth and their parents still want as a choice.
In 2009, we served nearly 3,500 youth ages 12-18 through these programs. “One Choice, One Voice” is the theme of the CFSS abstinence education program which is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Youth Leadership Academy –
In 2009, 60 youth from the project sites were nominated to attend a Youth Leadership Academy to build upon their assertive and resistance skills, character development and skills to help maintain their abstinent life-style. This program gave youth an opportunity to bond with other youth from Baltimore, MD; Jamaica Queens, NY; Newark/Essex County, NJ; and Philadelphia, PA who have shown true leadership in the abstinence education movement.
A three-time participant in the abstinence education program, Kenya Wright, was profiled in a CFSS entry for the “Portraits of Compassion Video Contest” that was shared at the White House National Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in Washington, D.C.