IDEAS from the Field: A Case Study of the Healthy Visions Program

IDEAS from the Field: A Case Study of the Healthy Visions Program

OPRE Report #2019-13
Published: Apr 30, 2019
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Key Findings
  • The Healthy Visions program implements a combination of Choosing the Best (CtB) and TYRO Rites of Passage curricula. By training staff on both CtB and TYRO ROP, Healthy Visions can customize programming to meet the needs of diverse program settings and populations.
  • Healthy Visions facilitators are young, college-educated professionals who act as motivational speakers, role models, and “program messengers.” The program prepares its facilitators to implement the curricula through intensive training, shadowing, regular team meetings, and continual feedback.
  • Healthy Visions staff use a “Real Talk” approach to engage youth and foster relationships with them based on trust, honesty, and respect.

As part of the federal government’s ongoing efforts to explore new approaches to empower youth to make healthy, informed decisions about their relationships and behaviors, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) administers the Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) grant program. This funding stream supports programs that teach adolescents to avoid sexual activity while also providing education and support related to personal responsibility, self-regulation, goal setting, healthy relationships, focusing on the future, and avoiding drug and alcohol use. Through a focus on sexual risk avoidance and positive youth development, the programs aim to prevent unplanned pregnancies and other consequences of risk behaviors, and help adolescents develop to their full potential.

This brief spotlights Healthy Visions, an SRAE grantee in Cincinnati, Ohio. Healthy Visions uses multiple program components and curricula to serve a diverse population ranging from public school youth in urban, rural, and suburban settings to pre-adjudicated youth in detention centers. This brief provides an example of how one grantee has structured and implemented its program. The brief can inform practitioners and policymakers about strategies to encourage youth across diverse settings to avoid risks, particularly those associated with early sexual activity.

Mathematica conducted the case study through a site visit, classroom observations, and a review of program documents. Staff spent multiple days on site, conducting semi-structured interviews with staff from Healthy Visions, three participating high schools, and the Hamilton County Youth Detention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Staff also conducted observations in two schools. The team examined and synthesized the information collected across respondents in the development of this brief.

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