FOCUS Program: Decreasing Repeat Teen Births

Not all births to teens are first births.

Last year in Southwest Florida, 134 teens gave birth to a second or sometimes a third baby, representing 16% of all teen births in our region, compared to 18% nationally.

Healthy Start has launched the evidence-based curriculum titled FOCUS.  Education is provided for teen mothers in the school system and teen young men on probation. FOCUS is an eight-hour program that has been proven to reduce repeat teen births, reduce future sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and promote graduation rates.

We educate the teens on issues such as responsible behavior, relationships, pregnancy and STI prevention and to promote healthy behavior and responsible decision making.

  • Session 1: Increase knowledge about unintended pregnancies and STDs including HIV/AIDS. Modify values, beliefs, and attitudes that impact sexual behavior.
  • Session 2: Increase knowledge about hormonal and barrier contraceptives. Build communication skills to prevent risky sexual behaviors and increase condom use.
  • Session 3: Increase knowledge about the signs, symptoms, and consequences of STDs/HIV/AIDS. Increase knowledge about the transmission and prevention of STDs/HIV. Build communication skills to prevent STDs/HIV.
  • Session 4: Modify attitudes about the effects of alcohol and its relationship to sexual risk behaviors. Build refusal communication skills. Build condom use skills. Increase awareness about how life choices can impact decision-making and health.
  • Session 5: Program “graduation” celebration and meetings with mentors in the career fields the young women would like to pursue.

The maximum is 20 teens for each course.

 

Mentors Needed

We are looking for business men and women who would be willing to help by attending the last “graduation” session of the program to meet with teen mothers individually. At the first session, we ask each girl what her dream career is and then match her with a mentor at the last session.  Mentors will help the girls understand how to achieve their goal.