3 Steps to Establish a Clear Goal to Engage Communities

Healthy Teen Network's Education & Outreach Department

Healthy Teen Network’s Education & Outreach Department

What is Community Engagement?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Committee on Community Engagement defines community engagement as “the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the well-being of those people.” Community engagement “involves partnerships and coalitions that help mobilize resources and influence systems, change relationships among partners, and serve as a catalyst for changing policies, programs, and practices.”

In other words, community engagement is the synergistic process of bringing a diverse group together for the purpose of reaching a shared goal. It is a process that is both evidence-based, rooted in social science, as well as a creative process built on strong, cooperative relationships.

Building and sustaining community engagement is critical to the long-term success of community programs, and ultimately, achieving better health outcomes for youth. With that in mind, establishing a clear goal is the centerpiece of working collaboratively with a community stakeholder or advisory group, to support community engagement. These three steps will support establishing a clear goal:

  1. Assess Community Needs and Resources. With project partners, conduct a thorough needs and resource assessment. Use quantitative data (e.g., surveys, vital statistics, etc.) and qualitative data (e.g., focus groups, interviews, etc.) to identify youth, community resources, and potential partnerships.
  2. Share Findings with the Community. Tell the story of the initiative, complete with the purpose and vision. Use methods such as community or town hall-style meetings, hold a press conference, publish stories in local papers or newsletters (e.g., articles, letters to the editor, etc.), and spread the word via social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Sharing findings should be a routine and regular task, to build mutual understanding and collaboration for the project. Sharing also builds reciprocity and can support leveraging community resources and wisdom, particularly when the community is encouraged to respond to and contribute to project findings and planning.
  3. Partner with Appropriate Individuals and Organizations. The assessment and outreach to share findings will help you to partner with appropriate individuals and organizations. Think about people and organizations who could be involved in the community stakeholder or advisory group. It’s important to consider capacities and characteristics, such as:
    • Diverse knowledge, skills and capacities
    • Thinkers and “doers”
    • Manageable size
    • These three steps will build the foundation of community engagement. From here, of course, there’s much work to be done, in the ongoing partnership with the community and key stakeholders, to sustain the project.

Here are some more resources to support you in your efforts to engage the community:

What are some challenges or lessons learned you’ve realized in your efforts to engage the community?


Ending Child Sex Trafficking in the United States, One Child at a Time

Rajani Gudlavalleti

Rajani Gudlavalleti

Upwards of 300,000 U.S. children—as young as 13 years of age—are exploited by sex trafficking annually (United States Department of Justice). Contrary to common belief, almost all child victims of trafficking in the United States are born here—forced to work in brothels, private parties, and truck stops. These are youth who did not have a trustworthy adult support system to help them avoid exploitation. To ensure that all young people lead healthy and fulfilling lives, it is essential for everyone who works with kids, including teachers and social workers, to understand U.S. child trafficking, how to identify these kids, and to develop appropriate solutions to get them out.

How do U.S. children get trafficked?

According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, anyone under 18 committing commercial sexual acts is a victim of severe human trafficking. These victims are mostly girls who have been abused and forced by fear to either run away from home and/or caretakers prevented them from returning home out of anger. Traffickers coerce these children into prostitution by exploiting their desperation to meet basic needs. These adults use manipulation to gain the trust of these children and often compel them to believe that prostitution is their only option for survival.

How can I help?

  1. Learn about federal protections for trafficking victims: Victims can access publicly-funded services to meet their immediate needs (e.g., housing, food, health care), as well as counseling and income assistance.
  2. Confirm that the child is a victim of trafficking and build trust: For resources on recognizing the signs of a trafficking victim, please visit Polaris Project, FAIR Girls, or CAASE. Unfortunately, you may not be able to get children out immediately—but you can help them feel comfortable enough to eventually request help. Focus on gaining the child’s trust. Speak together in a safe and confidential environment, away from other adults.
  3. Work with the child to “come out”: To ensure that the child feels comfortable about escaping exploitation and accessing federal protections and services, the child must first “come out” to law enforcement as a victim of trafficking. However, these children almost always feel stuck, ashamed of their actions, and afraid to seek help. Use indirect strategies to teach the child about the legal protections afforded to victims who escape, without pressuring the child to take action.
  4. Research your local law enforcement agency’s practices in trafficking situations: Most law enforcement agencies—including the FBI—use insensitive “rescue” models, which involve large-scale police raids that sweep everyone on sight and do not take individual victims’ circumstances into account. For example, children who run away from home—an arrestable offense in some jurisdictions—are often returned to the unsafe home that sent them running in the first place. And, victims of trafficking often return to prostitution because they have no alternative means of survival.
  5. Develop a sustainable plan that empowers the child to be a successful adult: The most effective strategy to rescue children from trafficking is to address their needs one-by-one. Create a team of caring adults to ensure the child’s safe escape and re-integration into the community. Identify alternative means of livelihood by coordinating with homeless family services and/or youth job training programs.

It is not only essential for us to keep our eyes open for these victimized children, but we must work together to support them safely and effectively. As adults working to ensure that adolescents lead healthier sexual and family lives, we are obliged to ensure that victims of child sex trafficking survive, escape, and thrive.

Rajani Gudlavalleti is program coordinator for Open Society Institute-Baltimore, working primarily in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program.


One Hobby Lobby Story

Emily Gargiulo

Waiting to witness history.

Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court listened to oral arguments in the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, which will determine if a for-profit company can deny its employees health coverage of contraception based on the religious objections of the company owner. The case represents the latest controversy in the health reform/reproductive justice/religious liberty debate—just how that debate is defined is often an indicator of where one stands.

My story

I grew up in a devout Catholic household in Brooklyn, NY. As a child, I learned early that many of my friends and neighbors did not share my family’s beliefs—the gift and consequence of growing up in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Nevertheless, we recognized that we all enjoyed the same protections to believe and not believe, to practice and not practice a given faith. It is this principle that has most clearly defined my views today, but one that Hobby Lobby appears to question. The store owners and supporters suggest that their religious freedom should trump that of their employees. The court’s definition of this freedom will impact the rights of women across the country to make this choice for themselves.

I decided months ago that I needed to be present for this historic case, but I knew making this a reality would be no easy feat. The Supreme Court contains roughly 400 seats for viewers; of these, many go to friends and colleagues of the justices, groups that have assisted in the counsel of the two legal teams, and the press. The limited numbers of leftover seats are made available to the public. In the days leading up to hearing, forecasts predicted snow, slated to start right in the middle of the night. I enlisted one crazy friend still willing to take a chance to witness history.

As the day finally arrived, we drove from Baltimore to DC, armed with blankets, snacks, and a few vain hours of sleep. Joining the line shortly after 3am we were giddy with the anticipation of the hours ahead. Students of all ages—high school, college, and law school—surrounded us on the street, all attracted to the line by a common spirit. We embodied the hopeful, bushy-tailed energy of the nation’s capital, where policy and society collide in the democratic process. We’ve lived in a time when contraception is legal and not just accepted by our peers, but considered a right. We’re also living in a time where companies have unprecedented power and speech. We knew the collision of these individual and corporate rights may well decide the next period of our lives.

Around 6 am, we were told to pack up and prepare for the first groups to start entering the building. (In reality, the very front of the line would not go in until 7:30am, while others, myself included, waited two more hours to snatch up the last few public seats.) At this point, the protestors started to gather. As we anxiously waited to learn our viewing fate, we watched the physical demonstration of colliding principles. Each side fought to be the loudest, the biggest, and the least able to ignore. Advocates all had their own story of why they came, what they believe, and the result they seek.

After hours of camping, standing, and snow, we were among the final public viewers to make it in the courtroom. The 90 minutes of testimony were among some of the most exhilarating minutes two health policy students/reproductive rights advocates could ask for. There are ample sources across the internet where one might read about the arguments considered, so I will not analyze these here. (A decision is expected in June.) What I do think is worth mentioning is just what that courtroom represented—nine highly esteemed justices, serving life tenures, spent 90 minutes asking questions regarding legal standards and the health and economic costs of these decisions. Hundreds of reporters and legal experts listened for those justices’ tones, signs of opinion, and precedence. Students and other lay public marveled at the judicial process, and the chance to experience history. But outside that courtroom, hundreds of activists withstood snow and opposition to openly declare their principles. They wore shirts and raised signs like scarlet letters, a symbol of solidarity to the views and people they represent.

Beyond that courtroom or the surrounding streets, there are millions of women who stand to feel the impact of this decision. No matter how you define the debate, the answer is monumental for the individual rights to healthcare, religion, and freedom of choice for all Americans. My Hobby Lobby story is just one of the millions that remain to be told.

Emily Gargiulo is a Health Policy graduate student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Research & Evaluation Assistant at Healthy Teen Network.

Check out a short video of Emily waiting to go inside the Supreme Court.

Are you SMART?


Genevieve Martínez García

The first step for designing an evaluation plan is to get a comprehensive understanding of what the program is trying to achieve and with whom. SMART objectives, as part of the program logic model, can tell us just this information. The program logic model not only lays out a plan or a map to developing a program/intervention, but it also points to the objectives of a program and what should be evaluated and measured.

Most of us are now accustomed to writing SMART objectives, but it’s always helpful to take a step back and revisit the evaluation plan. Are the objectives truly SMART? Can they be SMARTer?

A Review on SMART Objectives…

Specific – What will change and for whom? Be specific.
Measurable – Are your desired outcomes measurable? By how much will things change?
Achievable – Are your desired outcomes achievable and attainable?
Realistic – Are your desired outcomes realistic given our resources?
Time Bound – By when will you expect to see your desired outcomes?

When writing SMART objectives, it may be helpful to use an objective-writing template:

By (TIME BOUND: what date or completion of what activity),(SPECIFIC: describe who) will (SPECIFIC: describe change in knowledge, attitude or behavior) by indicator (MEASURABLE: describe how you will know change has occurred).

Evaluation in Practice: Evaluating the Implementation of Sex Education in Schools

From 2010-2012, Healthy Teen Network partnered with Elev8 and East Baltimore Development, Inc. to implement and evaluate sexuality education programs in several Baltimore City elementary and middle schools. Healthy Teen Network evaluators engaged educators, school staff, and Elev8 administrators in the evaluation process to obtain meaningful process and outcome evaluation data. Data were incorporated into the planning of each implementation cycle to improve program delivery and enhance outcomes.

The evaluation plan included development and administration of pre-and post-test tailored to the selected program and appropriate for young African American students, direct observation of class implementation, fidelity monitoring assessment, and individual and group interviews with key project staff. The mixed-method evaluation plan allowed Healthy Teen Network to assess the quality and fidelity of the implementation; to identify factors at the school, facilitator, and administration levels affecting the delivery of the program; and to assess gains in knowledge among participants.

Healthy Teen Network is able to support you in providing evaluation services, or building your capacity to conduct program evaluation:

  • Conducting a needs and resources assessment using multiple data collection methods and approaches (e.g., secondary analysis, collecting own data)
  • Developing evaluation plans
  • Designing data collection tools (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Planning and implementing data collection methods
  • Designing participant assessment protocols and tools
  • Designing instructor observation protocols and tools
  • Conducting qualitative data analysis using software
  • Developing evaluation reports
  • Interpreting evaluation results
  • Conducting continuous quality improvement (CQI) based on evaluation results

For more information on these capacity-building services, contact Mila Garrido or complete a service request form today.

Genevieve Martínez García, PhD, is a Senior Researcher at Healthy Teen Network.

5 Free Sexual Health E-Learning Opportunities You Can Access Today

Woman typingAs part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of  Reproductive Health’s (CDC-DRH) Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Integrating Services, Programs, and Strategies through Community-Wide Initiatives cooperative agreement, Healthy Teen Network provides capacity-building assistance to support grantees to implement evidence-based programs (EBPs) and strategies, with quality and fidelity. Over the course of the project, it became evident that many trainers and facilitators wanted either an introductory class or refresher on sexual health concepts such as anatomy and physiology, contraception, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Healthy Teen Network assessed the availability of e-learning professional development opportunities for educators on this content.

To conduct this analysis, we developed a tool to assess the accessibility, affordability, content and visuals, quality, appropriateness for adult learners, assessments, cost, and duration of each program we identified through a targeted search. (Healthy Teen Network did not search for programs aimed at the end user, such as youth or parents.)

Among the e-learning professional development opportunities we assessed, the following five were completely free:

  1. Alberta Health Services
    Alberta Health Services provides the website as a resource for sexual health teachers and educators in Alberta, Canada, to enhance excellence in education by providing teachers with evidence-based sexual health education and delivery methods, lesson plans and activities, and comprehensive resources.
  2. American School Health Association, I Wanna Know
    Iwannaknow.org is a site of the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) and is a resource for educators and youth, with information on sexual health for teens and young adults, including comprehensive information on STIs, as well as information on healthy relationships, dating violence, and more.
  3. Global Health Learning (GHel) Center
    USAID’s Bureau of Global Health developed the GHeL Center to provide its worldwide health staff with access to state of the art technical global health information. The GHel Center offers courses aimed at increasing knowledge in a variety of global health technical areas.
  4. Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), E-Learning Modules
    OAH is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of adolescents to enable them to become healthy, productive adults. The office supports and evaluates evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs and implements the Pregnancy Assistance Fund; coordinates Department of Health and Human Service efforts related to adolescent health promotion and disease prevention; and communicates adolescent health information to health professionals, parents, grantees, and the general public.
  5. South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Online Learning Center (OLC)
    The South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s mission is to improve the health and economic well-being of individuals, communities, and the state of South Carolina by preventing teen pregnancy. The purpose of the OLC is to better equip individuals, groups, and organizations to meet the needs of young people and to reduce the rate of adolescent pregnancy. The OLC reflects the field’s best practices, supporting the transition from research to practice.

To see the ratings for each of these E-Learning professional development opportunities, see the Table on the last page of the report.

We are very interested in learning more about other e-learning professional development experiences! If you have comments or suggestions for other e-learning professional development opportunities, please complete this brief online survey.

Confessions of a Sex Ed Mom

Deb Chilcoat

Deb Chilcoat

If you are expecting a blog post chock-full of shockingly juicy confessions, this one is NOT for you. Those will have to wait until my memoir is published posthumously (which, I hope, is no time soon). However, I do want to share few tidbits that—dare I say—help me be the best “Sex Ed Mom” to my children (and other peoples’ children) that I can be.

Confession #1: I had great sex educators in my life.
We all know that it is essential to communicate openly and honestly about sexuality with our sons and daughters—early and often. I was fortunate to have parents, teachers, and other adults in my life who were very open to discussing sexuality. I cannot recall if any question was too offensive, too outrageous, or too embarrassing to ask them…and I am fairly certain there were a few doozies over the years!  What I do remember is feeling comfortable and safe asking them, knowing that they would tell me the truth or help me find the answer. I guess you could say that they modeled some of the most important skills I learned as a sexuality educator and Sex Ed Mom: be accessible, open, and honest.

Confession #2: I had practice.
Long before I had my own children, I was committed to communicating openly to other people’s children about sex and sexuality. Whether it was my family or the students in my sexuality education programs, it was important to provide them as much information as possible about their bodies, relationships, and sexual decision making so that they could lead healthy and successful lives. It was great practice for when my own kids arrived on the scene many years later and (I hope!) will continue to guide me as they get older.

Confession #3: Topics I think are for public discourse (e.g., periods, masturbation, and condoms) are not always well-received by others.
Funny, though, sometimes when I do bring up these topics in conversation, it can be an amazing icebreaker! Which leads me to Confession #4…

Confession #4: I love talking to other parents about sexuality and reproductive health.
Once word gets out that you are a Sex Ed Mom,  be prepared to have conversations about sex and sexuality with other parents (and grandparents!) on the sidelines of your kids’ sports games or while roasting marshmallows over the campfire. Questions will inevitably include the following: when and how to talk to kids about body changes, the “bird and the bees,” HIV and AIDS, gender stereotypes, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Honestly, as long as these conversations don’t distract me from seeing my daughter’s amazing save in the soccer goal or watch my son crush the soccer ball in the back of the net, OR cause me to drop my marshmallow in the flames, I welcome these conversations and hope to have many, many more like them as our kids grow older.

Confession #5: I’m not perfect…not even close!
After all these years of teaching parents and other caregivers about communicating about sexuality, I still make mistakes and expect to make plenty more. What gives me comfort is that I am granted plenty of mulligans; I can circle back and clarify things I said or expand on ideas and concepts with my kids, and my kids can do the same with me!  Now, imagine if every family threaded conversations about sex and sexuality into everyday activities. What if…during long trips you powered-off your devices and turned off the radio to talk about body changes? What if… during meals it would be no big deal to ask you kids to pass the pepper and if any of their friends are “dating” and what that means at their age? What if…as your children go to sleep you could assure them that everything that is happening to their body is normal and beautiful?

Confession #6: I am optimistic.
I think, with a little courage, knowledge, and practice, each of us can shape the next generation of Sex Ed Moms (and Sex Ed Dads, and Sex Ed Aunts and Sex Ed Uncles, too!).

Do you have any sex ed confessions to share?

Talk to you on the sidelines!

Deborah Chilcoat, MEd, is a Senior Training and Technical Assistance Manager at Healthy Teen Network.

9 Tips to Create a Safe Space for Teachable Moments

Gina Desiderio

Gina Desiderio

A teachable moment is a situation where opportunity knocks—a time at which a person, especially a child, is likely to be particularly disposed to learn something or to be particularly responsive to being taught or made aware of something. Teachable moments can make initiating conversation about sex and contraception easier and more comfortable for everyone involved.

With accurate information and adequate support, young people can make healthy and responsible decisions about having sex and using contraception. Adults can be most effective by providing the information and support needed to promote responsible decision-making in youth and help ensure transition to adulthood is safe and healthy.

Parents, caregivers, and youth-supporting professionals can take advantage of teachable moments to discuss sex and the use of contraception with young people. National Talk to Your Teen About Sex Month–observed every March–is the perfect time to get the conversation started.

Youth can sometimes be hesitant to talk with adults about sex. When young people are willing to discuss this topic, adults must be prepared to help by providing information and resources. When the interaction is positive, it is more likely that the youth will return to the adult in the future.

Confidentiality is the first step in creating a safe space, but you’ll want to try to build a safe space, to help build an ongoing relationship, in other ways, too.

9 Tips To Create a Safe Space for Teachable Moments

  1. Clarify what is being asked.
  2. Determine why the young person is asking the question.
  3. Affirm the young person for asking. It’s okay to talk about sex!
  4. Be aware of your own boundaries.
  5. Give direct responses.
  6. Use positive body language
  7. Be accessible for future opportunities to interact
  8. Bring it up! Open the door to conversation.
  9. Keep it private: Depending on the situation, a one-on-one conversation may be best.

Opportunity Knocks: Using Teachable Moments to Convey Safer Sex Messages to Young People is a Healthy Teen Network publication provided to help adults use teachable moments to talk to young people about safe sex. In addition to this resource, Healthy Teen Network has made available all the materials you need to conduct your own Opportunity Knocks presentation. The goal of this presentation is to educate and empower youth workers, unfamiliar with the field of sexual and reproductive health, to make the most of teachable moments with the young people they serve regarding safer sex and contraceptive choices.

In your experience, what has been helpful in creating a safe space to foster teachable moments with youth?

What opportunities, such as current events or pop culture, have you found to foster teachable moments with young people?

Supporting Change through Motivational Interviewing

Deb Chilcoat

Deb Chilcoat

Motivational interviewing (a.k.a. MI) is gaining a robust evidence-base and practitioners are enthusiastically integrating it in program implementation.

According to Miller and Rollnick (2013) “Motivational interviewing is a collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change.” (Miller W. R. & Rollnick, S. (2013). Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change, 3rd Ed. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.)

What’s the “flow of motivational interviewing?” (Miller and Rollnick, 2013, p. 26) How can it be used to support behavior change?

Well, it is not a one-two-punch and Voila! the behavior is changed (Miller and Rollnick, 2013). Changing behavior takes time, persistence, practice, and support. This is true for the person desiring to change his/her behavior, and it is true of practitioners of motivational interviewing. If you have never integrated MI into your work, you, too, are on a journey to change behavior.

Miller and Rollnick identify the four processes as engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning.


So how does it work, to go through these four processes, in the real world? How can you use motivational interviewing to support and engage with the others?

Sign up for the Healthy Teen Network webinar on March 4 at 3pm ET, A Journey to Change Behavior: Using Motivational Interviewing to Enhance Programs, with presenters Deborah Chilcoat, MEd, and Mousumi Banikya-Leaseburg, MD, MPH, CPH.

Deborah Chilcoat, MEd, is a Senior Training and Technical Assistance Manager at Healthy Teen Network.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Deb Chilcoat

Deborah Chilcoat

Well, it’s just about that time of year again: Valentine’s Day.  Everywhere I turn, I am bombarded by sappy love songs, ruby hearts, and images of smitten couples. Even one of the nation’s most respected news networks entices me to click a link so I can ponder if the movie “The Notebook” causes breakups. And let’s not forget the 18 bazillion relationship self-tests, my favorite being Heinous or Harmless?. And what is with those provocative headlines included in this month’s magazines? “Ways to Make Your Relationship Stronger, More Passionate, and Everlasting!” Arrrggghhh, there’s no escape

Another thing I can’t escape is the sinking feeling I get when I think about the young men and women struggling in unhealthy, destructive, and dead end relationships. Maybe they don’t want to strengthen their relationship, or make it more passionate, or last forever! Maybe they want to get out of the relationship, but just don’t know how. What’s worse, just when they need the courage, self-efficacy, and opportunity to end the relationship, they are subjected to constant reminders about the romance (and absurdity) of Valentine’s Day.

As a professional working with teens, I encourage them to be civil, express how they feel, and use “I statements.” But more often than not, I find that these young people need to learn the skills to break up with a partner when there is no way to improve or sustain the relationship. A few years ago, I added to my standard repertoire of lessons about the qualities and characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships (since most teens already know what those are), how to construct and deliver an effective break-up statement. This decision was inspired by an activity in the Circle of Friends program by Planned Parenthood of Western New York. I found that young people needed to connect with—and honor—their feelings and experiences so that they could learn the skills and practice how to manage conflict, regulate their own behavior, and cope with the loss of the relationship—no matter how unhealthy it is.

Although it is excruciating to watch a young person endure an unhealthy relationship, it is doubly painful thinking about the consequences of ignoring or shying-away from what happens to most us at some point in our lives—needing to end a relationship.

So, as I muddle through yet another hopelessly romantic Valentine’s Day, I encourage all professionals working with teens to include lessons and skill-building activities (e.g. role-plays) that give them the confidence, language, and courage to call it quits on a relationship that is unhealthy. Sometimes, breaking up is the hardest AND healthiest option!

Deborah Chilcoat is a Senior Manager of Training & Technical Assistance at Healthy Teen Network.

Full Circle, Youth 360°: An Inclusive Approach to Achieve Better Outcomes for Youth

Pat Paluzzi, DrPH

Pat Paluzzi

A few years ago, Healthy Teen Network interviewed several teen parents. Hearing their experiences highlights the complexity of factors and situations that affect their health and well-being.

Uniqwa speaks on education, sharing how support services that helped her find child care and transportation allowed her to successfully complete school.

Lisette recognizes the importance of supporting teen parents because of the potential impact not just for the parent, but for the child as well.

These brief interview clips bring to life the reality that how and where we live, learn, and play matters. These factors affect every one of us—our health and well-being, even our life span.

Elements such as

  • Geographic location,
  • Shelter,
  • Food,
  • Security,
  • Socioeconomic status,
  • Education and employment opportunities,
  • Health services,
  • Relationships,
  • Recreational opportunities,
  • The media,
  • And so much more,

Shape our long-term physical, mental, emotional, and social health and well-being.

If we want to achieve better outcomes for youth across diverse populations, we must consider this range of elements—or, social determinants of health—for the individual, in our society, communities, and relationships. A 360°, inclusive approach allows us to do just that…Youth 360°.

Addressing the social determinants of health is not a new concept. Probably, many of you are already incorporating these ideas into your work. The Youth 360° Frame brings to light these complex, interrelated elements, and it supports innovative ways of thinking about what we do, and what youth need to thrive.

Whether you are already using this approach, or you are ready to start learning more, Healthy Teen Network offers a variety of capacity-building assistance and resources.

  • View the Youth 360° online presentation, through Prezi.
  • Meet professionals from around the country to network and share innovative strategies and research using the Youth 360° Frame and social determinants of health. Save the Date for Healthy Teen Network’s 2014 Conference, Synergy: Achieving More Together, in Austin, Texas, October 21-24, 2014.
  • Coming soon: a multimedia presentation of case studies with real life examples of an inclusive, collaborative approach, where professionals bring theory to life to support and empower youth. Also in development are fact sheets on the social determinants of health. But you can download the first fact sheet now, an overview, on our website, along with many other resources.


The Youth 360° frame allows us to increase our impact, building collaboration beyond the adolescent sexual and reproductive health field and achieving better outcomes for youth across diverse populations, including marginalized youth and pregnant and parenting teens. Read more about Healthy Teen Network’s strategic plan to promote the use of the Youth 360° frame.

How do you work to provide an inclusive approach for programs and services for youth?

Have you found ways to establish partnerships, to address some of the elements that are relevant to the youth you serve, but are beyond your organization’s capacity to address (e.g., housing)?

Pat Paluzzi is the President/CEO of Healthy Teen Network.


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