Every Teen Counts is an initiative launched in Fall 2015 to help North Carolina increase its capacity to help young people in out-of-home care (foster care) and juvenile detention centers stay healthy and avoid unplanned pregnancy. Every Teen Counts is funded through the federal Office of Adolescent Health as a part of their Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.
Youth in foster care and justice-involved youth both experience teen and unplanned pregnancy at a much higher rate than other youth. Every Teen Counts works with NC LINKS - North Carolina's system for serving youth in foster care - and with juvenile detention centers to help professionals in these systems build their capacity to help youth avoid unplanned pregnancies. More specifically, Every Teen Counts helps these systems implement two specially tailored, evidence-based curricula for these young people - Making Proud Choices: An Adaptation for Youth in Out-of-Home Care and SHARP (Sexual Health and Adolescent Risk Prevention). Every Teen Counts also aims to create linking and referral networks to help youth access supportive healthcare services.
ETC provides intensive services to NC LINKS Programs (Foster Care Independence Living Programs) in Granville, Halifax, Pitt, Vance and Wilson Counties, and with juvenile detention centers in Pitt and Wake Counties. ETC includes opportunities to share lessons learned with professionals statewide.
Every Teen Counts is, first and foremost, a capacity-building project to strengthen our state's ability to help young people in out-of-home care stay healthy. In addition, nearly 1,400 of North Carolina’s highest risk youth will receive evidence-based programs, and professionals across the state will benefit from lessons-learned about improving health outcomes for these higher risk, underserved youth.
For more information about Every Teen Counts, contact project coordinator Kia Thacker.