The purpose of this paper is to outline the development of a resource designed to support practitioners, who are not sexual health specialists, but who work with young people who may be at risk of teenage pregnancy or parenthood. Its aim was to enable practitioners to carry out an assessment using a screening tool, and to use educational interventions designed to reduce risk-taking behaviour or refer to a sexual health specialist. A research project to examine the perceptions of practitioners who had used the resource is reported.
The resource was based on a local needs assessment and developed by a multi-agency working group. The research utilised an online questionnaire and telephone interviews with practitioners.
Practitioners reported using the screening tool with young people with an average age of 13.1 years. They thought the educational interventions provided knowledge and helped with communication, self-awareness, reflection, confidence, attitudes and values clarification.
The project was based in one county in England. A sample of 17 per cent of the practitioners responded to the questionnaire, and they might be biased towards those who had engaged most, or most positively, with the resource. Three practitioners undertook interviews. The views and behaviours of young people are yet to be evaluated.
Within a climate of limited resources, the findings suggest that the project is providing an acceptable proportionate universalist, early sexual health intervention for young people.
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