Fact Forward for Adolescents

We want you to have “that” talk

By Lydia Royals

If you work with youth, have children or are a trusted adult, chances are you’ve been asked an uncomfortable question you weren’t ready for. Often these questions are about topics that feel embarrassing or awkward. Adolescents are constantly curious and often want information from the trusted adults in their life. That’s where Fact Forward comes in.

According to a survey conducted by the University of South Carolina Institute for Public Service and Policy, 94% of South Carolinians said that teen pregnancy is an important problem. Fact Forward thinks it’s an important problem, too. Fact Forward is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and economic well-being of individuals, communities, and the State of South Carolina and beyond by preventing teen pregnancy and advancing adolescent reproductive health.

Every 154 minutes, a teen in South Carolina gives birth. In addition to that, South Carolina is ranked fourth in the country for infection rates of chlamydia AND third for gonorrhea among all ages. Fact Forward is dedicated to ensuring young people get effective health education that will change these numbers. How do we do this? Through the parents, teachers, clinicians, and community members who youth trust.

Working with adults to work with adolescents

We train and educate professionals who work with young adults so they can provide medically accurate and age appropriate information about healthy relationships, birth control and safer sex. Fact Forward partners with a variety of organizations to do this – public and private schools, community-based organizations and clinics.

We support and work with parents who want help with starting “the talk” or want to practice answering those uncomfortable questions from adolescents. Research shows that teens want to hear about love, sex and relationships from their parents. When parents can’t have that conversation, adolescents often resort to learning from their friends or TV/the internet.

“A 70% decline in our state’s teen birth rate since 1991 is a point of pride for our state.  While we are impressed with the declines, we recognize work must continue by all of us to maintain success.

We cannot make an impact on teen pregnancy rates without teams of dedicated professionals willing to engage young folks across the state. At its core, our job is to support their work, and to make sure South Carolina’s youth receive effective health education, as well as access to quality reproductive health services.

With 3,425 births to teens in 2019 and a continual increase in STI rates, we must continue to reach youth where they need it the most.” Beth De Santis, Fact Forward CEO.

Fact Forward is supported through federal grants, state grants, private grants and generous donations from people who think this work matters. If you’re interested in our work and want to learn more, please visit factforward.org.

Lydia Royals is the public relations coordinator for the Fact Forward.

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