SHIFT NC

Research and Publications

How Gaston Youth Connected Changed a Community - and New Lessons for North Carolina

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North Carolina has experienced record declines in its teen pregnancy and teen birth rates. However, many communities and many populations still experience disparately high rates of teen pregnancy and teen birth. In 2010, we launched a novel demonstration initiative to address teen pregnancy in Gaston County, North Carolina. The Gaston Youth Connected initiative took a multi-pronged approach to help the community address longstanding problematic teen pregnancy and teen birth rates by using an array of evidence-based approaches. After five years, the initiative resulted in significant health gains for Gaston County — and provided major lessons for how North Carolina can approach teen pregnancy prevention.

How Gaston Youth Connected Changed a Community - and New Lessons for North Carolina is a supplemental report on the State of Adolescent Sexual Health that details: 

  • Major components of Gaston Youth Connected and how they worked; 
  • Lessons learned that can serve other communities; and 
  • How North Carolina is building on the lessons of Gaston Youth Connected. 

Read How Gaston Youth Connected Changed a Community - and New Lessons for North Carolina

Safe Harbors: Safe & Supportive Housing for Pregnant & Parenting Adolescents

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About half of young parents involved in North Carolina's Adolescent Parenting Program say they need to live somewhere different. The top reasons? Safety, overcrowding, Read our Safe Harbors overview reportfamily tension, and the need for autonomy that comes naturally with both adolescence and parenthood. Unfortunately, North Carolina doesn't have the capacity to meet their needs right now. Housing options are few and far between - with costs and policies preventing more from opening - and too many existing options provide care that isn't supportive of pregnant and parenting teens' unique needs.  

Since 2012, we have worked to asses how well North Carolina is meeting the housing needs of pregnant and parenting teens. We have surveyed available resources, professionals who work with pregnant and parenting teens, and more than 250 teens to produce a series of resources that illustrate our state's severe lack of safe and supportive housing for pregnant and parenting adolescents. 

Housing Needs of Pregnant and Parenting Youth - A full report including information on:

  • the relationship between teen pregnancy/parenthood and homelessness,
  • types and availability of various housing options in North Carolina,
  • focus groups with parenting teens, and
  • key informant interviews with professionals in the field. 

Safe Housing Data Presentation - Information presented at our Safe Harbors Forum on March 20, 2015

Safe Harbors: Creating Safe and Supportive Housing for Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents - A publication with summary needs assessment findings and policy recommendations

Adolescent Health Advocacy Day Issue Papers 2013

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Note: In May 2015, the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) became SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens).

 

On February 13, 2013, youth, parents, and youth-serving professionals from across North Carolina will visit the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh for Adolescent Health Advocacy Day. Youth will talk to their legislators about a range of  adolescent health issues. These issue papers have been developed by the 2013 Adolescent Health Advocacy Day planning committee: 

Student Well-Being and Mental Health

Access to Care

Teen Pregnancy Prevention

According to Math: Tackling Tough Numbers to Reduce Teen Pregnancy

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Note: In May 2015, the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) became SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens).

According to Math: Tackling Tough Numbers to Reduce Teen Pregnancy examines the biggest issues North Carolina will need to address to reach the state's goal to reduce teen pregnancy 30% by 2020. Released in January 2013, the report is a benchmark addendum to the 2012 North Carolina State of Adolescent Sexual Health & Action Plan

According to Math: Tackling Tough Numbers to Reduce Teen Pregnancy

Lesson Plan: Knowledge to Action: Helping Teens Access Health Services

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Download Knowledge to Action: Helping Teens Access Health Services

Knowledge to Action: Helping Teens Access Health Services is a new lesson plan for use with evidence-based and promising programs. When added as an additional module, the lesson aims to help participants: 

  • Understand their rights to consent to medical services in North Carolina
  • Understand how to navigate health care systems and paying for health care
  • Practice setting an appointment
  • Practice talking to a doctor about their health needs and concerns

Knowledge to Action can be successfully implemented with both comprehensive and abstinence-only programs. 

2009 Parent Opinion Survey

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Note: In May 2015, the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) became SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens).

 

Many people simply expect controversy when talking about sexuality education. In fact, many schools often city fear of controversy – not actual controversy or content – as a reason not to teach sexuality education. So, we posed the question: 


What do parents want their children to learn about sex in school? 

We partnered with the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill to conduct a survey of parents of NC public schoolchildren. Conducted between November 2008 and January 2009, the survey asked a random sample of parents about their views on sexuality education, what should be taught, when teaching should commence and how long it should last, and other topics.

2009 Parent Opinion Survey Full Report

Key findings: 

  • 91.8% of parents thought sexuality education should be taught in public schools;
  • Two-thirds of parents thought sexuality education should start by the 6th grade; and
  • More than 60% of parents thought students should receive at least 18 hours or more per year of sexuality education in high school. 

The survey asked parents whether or not they wanted specific topics included in public school teaching of sexuality education. More than 95% of parents thought sexuality education should include the following items:

  • Transmission and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (99.6%)
  • Transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS (99.5%)
  • What to do if one has been raped or sexually assaulted (99.4%)
  • The basics of reproduction or how babies are made, pregnancy, and birth (98.6%)
  • How to deal with pressure to have sex (99.4%)
  • How to talk with a girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner about not having sex (98.2%)
  • How to talk with parents about sex and relationship issues (98.7%)
  • How to deal with the emotional issues and consequences of being sexually active (97.8%)
  • How to talk with a girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases (97.1%)
  • Waiting to have sex until after graduating from high school (96.2%)
  • Effectiveness and failure rates of birth control methods, including condoms (97.1%)