Health Policy

Policy Work

YWP advocates for policies and programs that expand reproductive rights and access, improve health outcomes for youth, provide employment and leadership opportunities, and integrate youth into decision making. YWP’s health policy agenda is focused on laying the institutional groundwork to support full implementation of comprehensive sexual health education for DC youth through the public school system. Our strategy includes three steps: 1) Revising the DC Health Standards to include more comprehensive sexual health learning objectives and a broader and more detailed range of health education areas (May 2014 - May 2016; 2) The Implementation of comprehensive sexual health education in all grades; and 3) Expanding curricula quality and resources for high school teachers to include a broader diversity of tools and topics.

YWP’s Health Policy Accomplishments:
Led the development and passage of new DC State Learning Standards for Health Education working closely with the State Board of Education, DC Public Schools (DCPS), and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). This was approved on April 1, 2016 for an August 2016 implementation.  Specifying concepts and skills that students need to know and do, from pre-K through 12th grade, standards are used to develop curriculum and professional development, inform teacher lesson plans and instruction, and monitor student progress. Driven by the urgent health needs of DC children and youth and shaped by the instructional needs of public school teachers, these new standards are likely to be the most comprehensive, progressive, skills-based, and needs responsive in the country.  Now we are working to support and fund health standards implementation.
Successfully advocated for an expansion of the DCPS condom availability policy in 2011, to include youth condom distributors and the expansion of WRAP-MC to include youth leaders and trainers. 
In 2010 and 2011, released two Youth Assessment Report Cards for Community Based Sexual Health Programs. Developed and conducted by YWP youth staff in partnership with the DC Council’s Committee on Health, this research assessed the scope, depth, and youth-involvement of youth-focused sexual health programming in the District. Include link for report cards. 
Conducted the DC Teen Clinic Assessment which collected data from 34 DC community-based clinics.  Using this data to advocate for changes, PHASE staff is working with Unity Health Care Clinics to improve teen outreach and communication through the call center and web site. 
Developed high school sexual health curricula and training of trainers. Trained more than 130 health teachers and provided more than 80 hours of classroom based education to 270 students at Cardozo and Wilson Senior High Schools (2008) and Ceasar Chavez Public Charter (2009).
Led the development and passage of the DCPS Student Sexual Harrassment Policy (July 2002). After two years of research, surveys, building support among teen women – the team wrote and passed a DCPS Sexual Harassment Policy in July 2002. Sexual Harassment Campaign (SHC) staff created a user-friendly version of the policy which was distributed to all DCPS teachers and administration during September 2002 orientations. SHC youth and adult staff worked together to train 1,500 students in three schools, 50 go-to staff and 200 student leaders from 12 DC public high schools and 9 middle schools (October 2003). SHC youth and adult staff also developed The Harassment Education Package (HEP) which provides tools (lesson plans, recruitment advice, evaluation tools, policy information) to go-to teachers and students so that they can conduct sexual harassment training and track policy implementation. YWP staff facilitated the DCPS Sexual Harassment Taskforce, including youth-serving non-profits, the Office for Civil Rights, the DC PTA and officials from the Superintendent’s Office – charged with implementing the policy.

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