Communities disproportionately affected from higher rates of unplanned teen births are in need of sustainable approaches to prevention strategies. One approach is to build the capacity of faith-based communities (FBCs) to address the sexual health needs of the surrounding community. However there is a need for comprehensive, user-friendly resources designed for FBCs that provide critical decision-making information related to pregnancy prevention inclusive of contraception. Using community-based, theoretical and practice-informed strategies, we developed a user-friendly sexuality education tool kit in five phases: (1) building relationships with faith leaders; (2) piloting educational sessions within churches; (3) gaining insight from participating faith leaders; (4) creating the tool kit; and (5) collecting feedback from training and implementation. Our findings suggest faith leaders remained motivated to overcome perceived barriers by their mission to serve their communities. A sexuality education tool kit that is respectful and guided by the input of FBCs can be a viable and innovative approach to address teen pregnancy.
Key Take Away Points
- Community-wide teen pregnancy prevention efforts can be strengthened by working with Faith-based communities
- There is a need for comprehensive, user-friendly resources designed for FBCs that provide critical decision-making information related to pregnancy prevention inclusive of contraception.
- Faith leaders and communities accepted a comprehensive sexuality education toolkit as a strategy to address the sexual health needs of their communities.
Jennifer Torres, MPH, CHES is a Senior Trainer with the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research (CHPPR) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, where she has worked on multiple projects on the development, evaluation, adaptation, implementation, and dissemination of HIV, STI, and teen pregnancy prevention curricula for youth. Kimberly Johnson-Baker,DrPH is a Faculty Associate in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health. Dr. Johnson-Baker has over ten years of experience in the field of adolescent sexual health and has managed multiple adolescent sexual health projects including research, intervention development, training and community engagement initiatives. Benaye Bell, LBSW is Manager of Prevention Research Outreach at CHPPR. She is a licensed social worker and human services professional with more than 20 years’ experi¬ence in program development, implementation, and professional development within community-based organizations. Jamie Freeny, MPH is a Senior Health Educator and Special Projects Coordinator in the Community Outreach Services Department of the Harris Health System. She coordinates the Faith-Based Health & Wellness Ministries Network and the Women With IMPACT (Impacting Maternal and Prenatal Care Together) Program. She is also a Doctoral Student at UTHealth School of Public Health with a focus in Community Health Practice. Honora Swain, PhD is a Faculty Associate in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health. She also directs various project, community engagement, and curriculum implementation activities at CHPPR. Her research interests include mental health and well-being as they relate to adolescent sexual health and childhood obesity. Sharon Edwards is the President of The Cornerstone Consulting Group, a national consulting firm specializing in providing strategic planning, organizational management and development, and programmatic guidance and execution. Ms. Edwards has worked as a consultant for CHPPR on a range of initiatives focused on adolescent reproductive health. Susan Tortolero Emery, PhD is senior associate dean for Academic and Research Affairs and Allan King Professor in Public Health at UTHealth School of Public Health. Dr. Tortolero Emery has over 20 years of experience conducting research on risk and protective behaviors related to adolescent physical and mental health.
Funding for this project was provided by the Houston Endowment. We extend a special thank you to our community liaison Brandi Brown, and the participating pastors, church leaders, and congregants for their commitment, passion, and insights.
Torres, Jennifer; Johnson-Baker, Kimberly; Bell, Sheryl B.; Freeny, Jamie; Edwards, Sharon; Tortolero, Susan R.; and Swain-Ogbonna, Honora I.
"Working With Faith-Based Communities to Develop an Education Tool kit on Relationships, Sexuality, and Contraception,"
Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 8
, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol8/iss1/6