We envision communities where youth are healthy, safe, and able to achieve their full potential.
Mobilizing communities to target teen pregnancy with effective abstinence education strategies.
The goal of the Abstinence Education program (AEP) is to encourage the implementation of effective abstinence interventions that will delay initiation of sexual activity as part of a continuum of services to decrease the teen pregnancy rate and rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in youth ages fifteen (15) through nineteen (19).
Rider 53. Funding for Abstinence Sexual Education. It is the intent of the Legislature that funds appropriated in Strategy A.3.3, be utilized for the purpose of implementing abstinence sexual education programs to reduce the need for future family planning services for unwed minors. Any federal funds received by the agency for abstinence education are appropriated to the agency for this purpose. Abstinence education means materials and instruction which:
a. Present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior for unmarried persons; and
b. Emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity, used consistently and correctly, is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
Funds appropriated in Strategy A.3.3, Abstinence Education, must be used to implement sexual education programs that must comply with each of the A-H components of the abstinence education program under Section 510(b)(2), Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 710(b)).
Direct Service Contracts
Direct service contracts target high risk youth in grades 5-12 with abstinence interventions that include:
Effective, medically accurate, abstinence education curricula
Opportunity to engage in service learning projects
Opportunity to participate in the Texas Youth Leadership Summits
OurTown4Teens is a website for Texans who are ready to take action to reduce teen pregnancy in their community. This site provides information for abstinence education providers regarding DSHS Abstinence Education Program services. Resources are available for order through the site including information for:
- Youth (4th – 12th grade)
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
DSHS provides trainings and curricula materials to school districts that choose the Heritage Keepers curriculum through their local School Health Advisory Council. DSHS provides training for districts through a contract with the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio as well as a regional training network.