Goal

To build the capacity of attendees to provide high-quality adolescent health programs and services so that all young people are supported and empowered to lead healthy sexual lives.

 

Objectives

At the conclusion of the conference, attendees will be able to:

  1. Explain at least two new ways technology intersects with sexuality;
  2. Explain at least three ways to leverage technology to guide all young people toward healthy sexuality;
  3. Summarize how to anticipate and address challenges related to technology and sexuality;
  4. Implement content and skills learned—or enhanced—during various breakout sessions;
  5. Utilize relevant resources obtained during breakout sessions and from exhibitors and;
  6. Identify at least five new professional colleagues in their network.

 

 

Conference Tracks

All sessions at the conference are categorized into tracks based on session content.

Innovation

Conference sessions in this track will feature cutting-edge programs, strategies, interventions, and research that demonstrate ingenuity, spark intrigue, and provide a glimpse into how the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health continues to push boundaries by using new educational or methodological approaches, different settings, or creative ways of engaging participants. Innovative approaches consist of creative solutions to existing problems and often offer the opportunity to incorporate context, culture, and youth-centered approaches into tech-based and face-to-face programs and services. The Innovation Track encourages attendees to consider how to integrate innovation into their current efforts and improve outcomes, keeping in mind that tech-based products are not inherently innovative, and traditional programs can host innovative ideas.

Examples from past Healthy Teen Network Conferences include:

Gender Inclusive Reproductive Health and Puberty Education: A Framework for Educators
Kim Westheimer (Gender Spectrum)

Accounting for the needs of all students, while also attending to specific concerns of transgender and non-binary students, this workshop will build participants’ capacity to deliver gender-inclusive puberty and health instruction. The session will introduce five key principles of gender-inclusive instruction. Research and rationale will be presented for addressing questions that often arise related to gender-inclusive content and mixed-gender classes. While puberty education is associated with younger grades, this content will also be relevant to educators who work with middle and high school students in school and community settings. The session will include time for participants to ask questions and practice!

In & Out?: Supporting Single-Session Sexual Health Interventions
Nana Serwah Adom and Nicole Nwaru (New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene)

In historically marginalized communities that have been plagued with stigma surrounding sexual and reproductive health, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has played an important role in addressing unmet needs by reaching adolescents in schools and other settings. This poster presentation will detail how a short sexual health intervention, given individually, was used to reach teens in dozens of fast-paced, high-needs settings. Attendees will learn how Seventeen Days, an evidenced-based intervention, supported and empowered adolescent females into making sex-positive decisions and knowing that they have choices when it comes to sex. By reaching youth in schools (even ones lacking comprehensive sexual health education), clinics, and community events, this intervention offers a sustainable way for youth to receive high-quality sexual health information.

Sex Research in Cyberspace
Genevieve Martínez-García and Milagros Garrido (Healthy Teen Network) and Jennifer Manlove (Child Trends, Inc.)

Conducting research on sexual behavior is conveniently conducted online. This workshop will share lessons from the Pulse evaluation to equip participants with the tools and knowledge to recruit and enroll participants, implement a program, and evaluate its efficacy in an online environment. Pulse is a comprehensive and media-rich mobile app that promotes healthy sexual outcomes to 18-20 year old Black and Latinx women in the United States.

Research to Practice

Practitioners can improve their practice by staying current on relevant research in their field and about populations and areas of interest. Sessions in this track will expand knowledge of programs, strategies, interventions, and research—old and new—that are proven effective. Attendees will get an up-close look at these approaches, including any supporting materials, and learn how these approaches are implemented in practice.

Examples from past Healthy Teen Network Conferences include:

Operationalizing Recruitment Efforts for System-Involved Youth & Their Providers for Successful Outcomes
Rochon Steward (University of Maryland, Baltimore) and Tonya Johnson (Baltimore City Health Department)

Foster youth in Maryland are three times more likely to give birth between the ages of 15 and 19 than other youth in the state. The UChoose: PREP Program for Out-of-Home Youth, a project under the Baltimore City Health Department, implements a health education model to address the reproductive needs of our youth. The poster session will highlight outcomes from years of on-the-ground adolescent health work, emphasizing strategies used to recruit eligible youth in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, and foster parents, foster care providers, and juvenile justice professionals statewide.

Father Engagement: Strategies for Including Fathers in Our Work
Hillary Turner, Christopher Robinson, and Colbert Williams (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services)

Historically, few public health programs have been inclusive or designed for fathers. Health professionals often struggle to successfully engage fathers, yet establishing effective partnerships with young fathers is critical to supporting the healthy growth and development of themselves and their children. This session will help providers to strategize ways to include young fathers (including teen fathers) in their work, and debunk common misconceptions to serving them.

Advocacy & Social Change

Supporting the health and well-being of adolescents goes beyond the clinic and classroom. Support belongs in the streets as well as legislative chambers across the country. Sessions in this track will spotlight ways in which advocacy, messaging, and social change are inextricably linked and impact our field and the lives of young people. Learn more about how our words and actions are proof that we will stand strong and keep youth at the center of our work.

Examples from past Healthy Teen Network Conferences include:

Get your Sex Ed Justice on!
Shannon Rauh (JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc.) and LaJuana Johnson (LaJuana Johnson Leadership & Development Group)

This workshop will address the correlation between comprehensive sexuality education and sexuality education justice and why is it important to collaborate, support, and organize within vulnerable/marginalized communities around sexuality education. The goal of Sexuality Education Justice is to organize individuals and communities for structural change, so all people have power over their own sexuality, and the information and resources to achieve holistic sexual health. Participants will have an opportunity to walk along the Reproductive Justice/Sexuality Education Justice Timeline and discuss strategies for how vulnerable/marginalized communities can advocate for comprehensive sexuality education.

Uncovering Youth 360° Public Policy Solutions through Reciprocity Circles
Bob Reeg (Healthy Teen Network)

Some of the social-ecological challenges that youth face are best addressed through public laws, with public funds, and by public agencies. Youth 360° is a holistic perspective that takes into account the social determinants of health because we know that how and where we live, learn, and play matters. What challenges are youth in your community facing? Are there public policy solutions to them? What might they be? And, what are the next steps you can take to advance them? This session will use the reciprocity circle model for workshop participants to ask each other (and the facilitator) for the information they need and to share the knowledge they have on Youth 360° public policy solutions.

Re-Framing Our Lens: Developing Awareness of Social Stigma, Media Marketing, and Personal Biases Working With Young Families
Marylouise Kuti (New Mexico Graduation Reality and Dual-Role Skills (NM GRADS))

This workshop will provide a space for professionals to engage in meaningful small group activities and group discussions on providing safe, healthy, and respectful messages and imagery when working with youth across the nation. Often times, our own personal history and experiences dictate how we “view the wider world.” This workshop aims to help us identify what our own personal views are and how they impact our ability to connect with youth in our schools and communities as well as strategies for us to reprogram our lens, ensuring the youth we serve are welcomed without judgment, stigma, and shame.

Foundations of Practice

Sessions in this track will provide youth-supporting professionals the opportunity to learn essential content and skills to improve their practice. By laying a solid foundation of knowledge and skills, and by having support from veterans in the field, professionals attending sessions in this track receive high-quality professional development critical to nurturing the future leaders of our field.

Examples from past Healthy Teen Network Conferences include:

Positive, Problematic, & Productive Social Media Use: Breaking Down Barriers & Focusing on Potential for How Young People Engage Online
Kaleigh Cornelison and Azzia Roberts (Adolescent Health Initiative)
Technology and social media shape the identities, worldviews, and relationships of today’s teens. Unfortunately, many professionals fall short when they solely focus on what is problematic about social media use and ignore its positive aspects. This interactive workshop will start from the ground up, beginning with definitions and a roadmap of technology commonly used by young people. From there, we will examine how technology influences teen sexuality and relationships and the ways relationships and identity can be strengthened by technology. Finally, the workshop will focus on how to work with and relate to teens through the lens of technology.


Working with Young Men:  Mountain Dew, Muscles, and & More!

Ted Sikes (Children’s Home Society of North Carolina)

Adolescent young men are often overlooked and underserved when it comes to addressing teen pregnancy; however, the issue cannot be fully impacted without their positive engagement. As young men are particularly susceptible to misinformation about masculinity, sexuality, and relationships, it is critical to know how to recruit and work with young men. Attendees will learn various techniques to address healthy masculinity, sexuality, and relationships. Utilizing appropriate male-friendly teaching methods empowers young men to make healthy choices that will positively impact themselves and their partners.


Beneath the Mask: Implementing Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Prevention Education Through a Trauma-Informed Lens

Christine Keys (Klingberg Family Centers, Inc.), Kimberly Casey and Aria Flood (Love146)

Participants will gain an understanding of the prevalence and impact of trauma on increasing youth vulnerabilities for risk-taking behaviors including sexual exploitation/trafficking and unhealthy relationships; principles of trauma-informed practice and implementation within the classroom or community setting; and lessons learned from the field in working with at-risk youth and confirmed minor survivors of trafficking. Through a guided discussion and group and individual activities, this interactive learning forum will provide participants with an opportunity to develop concrete strategies to implement in their youth-serving programs and gain access to resources for vulnerable populations.