Teen Sexual Health and Education Now in State Environments (Teen SENSE) is a multidisciplinary initiative that works to secure the right of youth in state custody to comprehensive, LGBTQ-affirming sexual health care. This includes providing sexual health literacy programming and ensuring that staff of all government-operated and -regulated youth facilities are equipped to understand and protect all youth in their care, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE). Professional standards and expert consensus indicate that the provision of these services is vital to the health, safety, and well-being of young people. This is not only a matter of good public health policy, but is required by law.

Experts in adolescent medicine, public health, sexual health education, child welfare, and juvenile justice came together to engage with community organizers and youth advocates to develop a complete advocacy model for LGBTQ affirming sexual health care polices serving youth at the highest risk of abuse and neglect. 

In April 2012, Teen SENSE released the first set of Model Policies to serve as consistent, written assurances that comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive sexual health services are available to youth in out-of-home care, and that youth facilities staff are culturally competent, including on the rights and needs of LGBTQ youth. The Model Policies include: 

In January 2012, Teen SENSE released the first set of Model Standards to guide advocates, community-based organizations, and government agencies that have adopted the Model Policies. The Model Standards include:

For more information about Teen SENSE , contact us at info@hivlawandpolicy.org.