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May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. Prevention is critical as pregnancy and parenthood can result in added social, health, and financial costs to teen parents and their families. According to the latest statistics from the state health department, there are about 24 births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19 in Fresno County each year. To address those concerns, Fresno EOC has a program designed to help reduce pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among youth. The California Personal Responsibility Education Program (CA PREP) offers free classes for people ages 12 to 21. 

Project Coordinator for CA PREP, Belinda Her, says the classes are non-judgmental and tailored to the unique needs of the participants. “We teach sex education. And we want to share with young folks that you can have a life with kids. But if you don’t want to become a parent yet because you have no idea how to raise a child, we can give you the resources to help with that.”

 

Classes are medically accurate, engaging, and also provide Adulthood Preparation Subjects (APS) to support personal growth. The APSs include: healthy relationships, adolescent development, financial literacy, parent-child communication, education and career success, and healthy life skills.

In addition to reducing untimely pregnancies, CA PREP also provides information on how to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In 2020 alone, more than 1,100 people under age 19 were diagnosed with Chlamydia in Fresno County. CA PREP can answer questions about STIs, inform youth on their options, and provide easier access to family planning services, including the use of contraceptives. They also partner with Family PACT providers and other youth-friendly health care providers to increase youth access to sexual and reproductive health services.

 

Free transportation can be provided to youth in need of confidential services to Fresno EOC Community Health Services in downtown Fresno. Belinda says they coordinate with local schools to pick up students. “We offer safe transportation from their school to our clinic under the California Healthy Youth Act. Youth have the right to excuse themselves for confidential appointments, without the permission from their guardian or parent.”

 

Anyone interested in CA PREP can contact one of the program’s Healthcare Educators at (559) 265-5500. CA PREP classes are held during and after school hours at the Fresno EOC Community Health Center in Downtown Fresno and locations throughout Fresno County.

 

 

About Fresno EOC Health Services

 

Fresno EOC Health Services offers a wide variety of programs.  They include:

 

  • Community Health Center Clinic – a primary care and comprehensive family planning clinic on R Street in downtown Fresno
  • Oral Health Education Program – provides individuals with the opportunity to learn health information, develop skills needed to make better health decisions, and lead healthy lifestyles. The program educates children and families about proper dental hygiene, nutrition, and the importance of seeing a dental provider regularly
  • Adolescent Family Life Program (AFLP) – provides comprehensive case management services to pregnant and parenting teens and their children
  • California Personal Responsibility Education Program (CA PREP) – provides free classes to inform and prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce high rates of sexually transmitted infections, and improve individuals’ sexual health and well being
  • Tobacco Education Program – offers presentations and resources to the community about the risk of tobacco-related diseases as well as smoke-free policies
  • School-Based Sealant Program – provides preventive oral health services, such as oral health education, dental sealants, and fluoride varnishes for elementary school-age children
  • Home Visitation Services (HVS) – serves Medi-Cal-eligible families in Fresno County with children aged 0 to 5. We offer comprehensive family services, developmental assessments for children, and community-based referrals to resources that address the child’s and family’s overall needs. Our goal is to improve children’s development as well as the family’s overall well-being.

 

Call (559) 715-8481 for additional information.

For media inquiries, please contact Claudia.solis@fresnoeoc.org.

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