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From the Imprint–A recent Imprint investigation published May 9 revealed that dozens of states lack formal or detailed policy guidance to support foster youth with the information they need as they go through puberty. A search of tens of thousands of pages of manuals revealed little or no mention of healthy relationships and sex ed, or the rights of foster youth to access contraception and abortion.

In some states, policies have lay dormant for decades. In others, rules governing the lives of foster youth at times clash with reproductive health care rights available to all minors, The Imprint found.

The federal government has taken some steps to assist, providing hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade that can be used to educate young people in state custody. The Colorado Sexual Health Initiative is one such effort. Launched in 2011, the program now provides foster youth and their caregivers with age-appropriate, medically accurate sexual health education.

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