Services Your Agency Should Provide
Foster care agencies are supposed to provide young people in foster care with the services listed below, but if they don't provide you with these services, ask your caseworker about them or tell your lawyer that you are not receiving the services you need!
- You should receive age-appropriate sex education, counseling on your reproductive rights and information about reproductive health services as soon as you turn 12 or become sexually active, whichever comes first.
- Your agency must provide birth control for you if you are 12 or older and you request it (or if you're younger than 12 but you are sexually active).
- All girls should be referred to a gynecologist as soon as they turn 12, start puberty, or become sexually active - whichever comes first.
- All girls ages 9 and older - whether sexually active or not - should be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer and other health problems.
- Agencies must provide emergency contraception (also known as the morning-after pill) to any young woman who requests it. Emergency contraception can prevent you from becoming pregnant if you have had unprotected sex during the previous 5 days (120 hours), but the sooner you take it after unprotected sex, the better the chance that it will prevent a pregnancy.
- If you decide to tell an agency staff member that you are pregnant, the agency must act within 1 week to counsel you on all of your options and give you the opportunity to meet with a health care provider, counselor or your attorney if you need help deciding what to do.