PREP: Supporting Evaluation and Innovation in Promising Youth Pregnancy Prevention Programs

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Family & Youth Services Bureau

Although educational programs can help prevent teen pregnancy and sexual risk behaviors in youth, many teens lack access to these programs in their communities or the programs they receive don’t resonate with them. This project builds on Mathematica’s study of the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), and a complementary evaluation technical assistance project, to support evaluations of promising programs led by PREP grantees and develop curricula for underserved youth populations.

The research team is providing training and technical assistance to tribal PREP grantees who are evaluating promising programs for tribal youth, as well as grantees implementing innovative strategies for youth who are homeless, in foster care, residents of areas with high teen birth rates, from racial or ethnic minority groups, or living with HIV/AIDS. We will work with the grantees from application through dissemination—helping grant applicants develop strong evaluation plans for their programs, supporting funded grantees in implementing rigorous evaluations, and facilitating dissemination of what is learned from the effort.

The project also includes development or revision of curricula to address the needs underserved youth. After a needs assessment to identify underserved groups, qualitative interviews will help determine relevant approaches, based on theories of change, and inform curriculum development. We are also identifying organizations to pilot implementation of the curricula, collecting implementation data to determine successes/challenges, and packaging curricula for dissemination.