"We envision a future where Richmond County young people are supported by their families and community to remain free of early, unintended pregnancy and to graduate from high school on time."
We Are Change offices are located at 114 Pleasant Home Road, Suite B, Augusta, GA. 30907. Phone: 706.922.6041
Richmond County has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state. But the community-wide initiative We Are Change is looking to change that. Funded by the CDC and administered by the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential (GCAPP), the project is part of a national initiative to decrease teen pregnancy by implementing evidence-based programs. This is expected to lead to an increase in the percentage of teens who delay sex, and an increase in the consistent use of contraception among teens who are sexually active. The ultimate goal: reduce teen pregnancy in Richmond County by 10% by 2015. The curriculum includes Making Proud Choices.
In 2010, the CDC awarded GCAPP a grant to implement a community-wide initiative in Richmond County to reduce teen pregnancy and teen births by 10% by 2015.
The program goals are to:
- Reduce the rates of teen pregnancies and births in target areas
- Increase youth access to evidence-based programs to prevent teen pregnancy
- Increase linkages between teen pregnancy prevention programs and community-based clinical services
- Educate stakeholders about relevant evidence-based strategies to reduce teen pregnancy as well as on needs and resources in target communities
|Youth Serving Organizations||Clinical Service Providers|
1. Augusta Mini Theater
2. Augusta State University
3. Department of Juvenile Justice
4. East Central Public Health District
5. Fort Gordon Youth Challenge Academy
6. Jones Behavioral Health
7. Kids Restart, Inc.
8. New Bethlehem Community Center
9. Planned Parenthood Southeast
10. Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Servicse, University Health Services, Inc.
11. Richmond County Juvenile Court
1. GA Health Sciences University, Women's Health & Augusta Regional Perinatal Center
2. Planned Parenthood Southeast
3. Richmond County Health Department Family Planning Clinic Site 1
4. South Augusta Health Department Family Planning
5. St. Vincent DePaul
PROGRAM OUTCOMES EXPECTED BY 2015
COMMUNITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT
The evaluation team for the CDC-Richmond County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (now called “We are Change”) conducted a community-wide needs and assets among Richmond County residents. The overall purpose of the community needs assessment was to better understand the community’s existing: knowledge about teen pregnancy prevention; attitudes towards evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs; behaviors that place young people at greater risk for teen pregnancy; skills and strategies used to address teen pregnancy.
- 426 Youth - Most youth participants were African American, between the ages of 15-17, and in school. There was an even split between males and females.
- 483 Adults
- 23 Businesses
- 20 Faith Communities
- 16 Elected Officials
- 20 Pharmacies
- 11 Youth Serving Organization Partners
- 6 Clinic Partners
Following are important findings that were discovered during data analysis:
Parent and Youth Surveys
Young people were are extremely concerned with sexual violence and abuse in comparison with other issues in their lives today.
Youth perspectives on teens dropping out of school indicate that there are more issues that affect dropping out than low grades or academic progress.
Youth perceive teen pregnancy as very serious in today’s time.
Teen pregnancy was identified as very serious to youth today when looked at individually and not considering other issues. However, in comparison to violence, teen pregnancy did not emerge as a high priority to them.
Youth reported that their friends are sexually active.
We did not directly ask youth if they were sexually active themselves but asked if their friends were sexual active as a proxy. Eighty-one percent (81%) youth said their friends were sexual active and almost 65% said their friends were having sex between the ages of 13 – 15.
Both youth and the caregivers alike reported that sex education should begin as early as the 5th/6th grade (i.e., around the timeframe where youth are transitioning from elementary to middle school). They also both strongly agreed that this education should include the discussion of the dangers of AIDS and other STDs.
Community is not very comfortable talking about sex and sexuality.
About 50% parents reported feeling very comfortable talking about sex and sexuality. No matter the comfort level, many adult participants indicated “even if we talk about sex, we don’t talk about birth control and the conversations are very short”.
Public officials’ ranking of top issues youth are facing today was in line with youth’s ranking.
Sixty-five percent (65%) of public officials ranked crime and violence as the most important issue related to youth today. The second most important issues were abuse/neglect and teen pregnancy.
Only 15% believe teen pregnancy is very common in their faith community while 60% believe it is very common in the broader community.
In addition, 100% believed that information should be given to teens to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, indicating that the faith community is supportive of educating the teens in this way.