MEDICAL INSTITUTE: BUILDING FAMILY CONNECTIONS IMPROVES PARENT-CHILD SEXUAL HEALTH COMMUNICATION – March 2011
Sexual health education curriculum prepares educators to effectively mediate communication between parents and adolescents
Austin, TX – – – March 21, 2011 – – – Open parent-child communication about sex is an important part to reducing risky adolescent behavior. However, many parents hesitate to do so due to embarrassment or lack of information, tools and effective communication skills.
To address the problem, The Medical Institute for Sexual Health (MI) trained community educators across the nation on the Building Family Connections (BFC) parent curriculum through a program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The program aims to increase parent-child communication and connectedness through parent courses conducted by trained community educators.
In May 2008, 34 educators participated in a 3-day training session in Seattle, WA. The participating educators learned and practiced facilitation skills in order to plan, recruit and market the BFC curriculum as well as provide 10-hour training sessions to parents in their communities. Pre- and post-training surveys showed significant increases in participant knowledge of sexual health issues. Most participants felt that the training was enjoyable and useful and thoroughly prepared them to effectively conduct their own BFC courses for parenting adults.
From the first training, seven educators have facilitated 23 BFC courses until early 2010. Approximately 290 parenting adults have been provided BFC courses across the country and have shown significant changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward communication with adolescents about sexual health topics such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), abstinence, contraception and teen pregnancy.
The BFC educator training proved to be exponentially effective in increasing knowledge and skills of educators as well as enhancing parenting adult-youth sexual health communication. The MI presentation on the positive outcomes for the BFC curriculum at the 138th Annual American Public Health Association meeting in Denver, CO generated much interest among people serving parents across the nation. MI holds BFC curriculum training for educators all across the country to empower parents to stay involved in their teen’s sexual health.
The Medical Institute is a non-profit (501c3) that empowers safe, healthy living by communicating objective sexual health information. Through research-based resources, the Medical Institute is helping people live safer, happier, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.medinstitute.org.