PREP: New Research, New Funding, More Opportunities for Young People
The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) is an evidence-based program that provides federal grants to states, tribes and communities to help some of the most vulnerable youth in our country avoid unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, while helping young people prepare for adulthood. PREP is administered by the Family and Youth Services Bureau at HHS. Together with the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program administered by the Office of Adolescent Health at HHS, PREP is expanding the reach of already proven programs to more youth and communities, and building a body of evidence about what works to meet the needs of vulnerable young people in a variety of populations and settings.
A special supplement to the American Journal of Public Health, Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention in Underserved Populations: The Way Forward, released on Valentine’s Day contains a treasure trove of important research and perspectives gleaned from the implementation of PREP since it started in 2010. This includes rigorous research about an effective intervention to serve youth in foster care and juvenile justice group homes, lessons about how and where to effectively reach “high need” youth (including tribal youth, young minority fathers, and teen mothers), the role of acculturation in communication between Hispanic mothers and daughters, how to support young people through community collaboration, and more. I encourage you to check out the full set of articles (all very short and accessible) and share them widely.
What makes this information that much more exciting is that Congress recently voted, on a bipartisan basis, to extend PREP for an additional two years (see more details here). With a total of $150 million secured over two years, state, community, and tribal grantees and their partners can continue to build on this knowledge and provide high quality sexual health information to hundreds of thousands of additional young people. Moreover, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners can use the research generated by PREP to inform and strengthen their efforts. Armed with this new knowledge and continued funding, we can help reduce disparities and empower more young people with the information and support they need to lead their best lives.
Learn more about how you can activate here.
Andrea Kane, Vice President for Policy and Strategic Partnerships at Power to Decide