Summary: Sexual Wellness Within The Alaskan Foster Care System

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Sexual Wellness within the Alaskan Foster Care System
The number of Alaskan foster youth is at a record high; just over 2,700 children are in foster care (Dobbyn, 2015). Foster youth are at a disproportional risk to contract sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and experience unwanted pregnancy (Hudson, 2012). Foster youth, in general, state the major reason why these issues exist is a lack of education and relationships with healthcare providers (Hudson, 2012). Alaska has high rates of STIs, which also greatly increases the risk of Alaskans contracting STIs (Department of Health and Social Services Division of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology, 2015). Education is an effective method for increasing knowledge about sexual wellness and reducing
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The majority of these resources offer STI and pregnancy testing at little to no cost. Most foster youth up to the age of 26 are eligible for Medicaid, which makes healthcare easier to financially obtain (Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, 2013). However, there is a shortage of providers that accept Medicaid which has resulted in many providers having unreasonably long wait lists for incoming patients, resulting in lack of adequate healthcare to fostered youth (Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, 2014). However, there are many places that offer quicker responses to the growing needs of the Anchorage community and their sexual wellness. Community resources such as the Anchorage Public Health Center, Planned Parenthood, and POWER Teen Center are capable of helping Alaskans with their sexual wellness; more resources for sexual wellness in Alaska can be found on www.alaska211.org (United Way of Anchorage, 2015). Also, there kits available for testing that can be performed without a provider and in the privacy of one’s own home (Hockenberry & Wilson,

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