This manual provides child welfare providers, from foster parents to case workers, with the tools to combat problematic, inaccurate, and harmful sexuality information that comes from families, classrooms, peers, partners, and the media. It supports providers as they consider their own biases, history, and knowledge base, and affirms that sexuality education, provided in traume informed ways, is an integral piece to the child welfare setting. The manual is organized into four sections. The first provides guidance on self-analysis for child welfare providers themselves. Understanding their personal perspective before they bring sexuality education into the child welfare space is critical. The second section provides a broad overview on numerous topics related to sexuality that young people bring into the child welfare setting. These include anatomy, physiology, sexual arousal, reproduction, communication styles, intimate partner violence, masturbation, and more. The third section includes more than 24 handouts child welfare providers can copy and use with young people along with guides and recommendations on how to use them. The final section is an extensive list of resources, organized by topic and annotated with a brief description of what content they cover.
The diversity and educational content given in this book is astonishing. Not only does it have the ability to challenge child welfare workers to continue evaluating their beliefs and biases and to keep an open mind when working with young people, it can also be used as a tool to educate and train mentors and parents about the world of sex and sexuality. As an expert with lived experiences in foster care, a young parent, and social worker, I would highly recommend this book as a tool to all professionals working with youth and adolescents.
– Sheila VanWert, BSW
Expert with Lived Experiences and Child Welfare Advocate