About TPPP

• What is your organization’s name and the titles of staff?
Teen Pregnancy & Prevention Partnership (TPPP) has an Executive Director, a Program Coordinator, a Practicum Student, a Board of Directors and multiple Volunteers who serve on committees.
• Do you work directly with teens?
No, we work with the adults who do work with teens. TPPP provides trainings to adults to help them be more effective, more comfortable sexual health educators. We are also involved in advocacy for comprehensive, medically-accurate, age-appropriate, evidence-based sexual health education.
• How are you funded?
TPPP receives grant funding for special projects and basic support. We also receive membership dues as well as payments for our conferences, professional development meetings, and trainings.
• What is the staff’s role in the program? 
The Program Coordinator plans, implements, and evaluates all of the trainings and meetings we offer. The Executive Director does everything else (financial stuff, networking, grant writing and management, advocacy, development, etc.). Additionally, for all of the programming we offer, we bring in presenters who are experts in the field.
• Are there similar organizations working in other states?
Yes, a list of organizations working on teen pregnancy prevention in other states can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions for Parents

• At what age should I start talking to my child about sex?
When you are changing diapers and talking with your baby about where its nose and belly button are, you can add in “and here is your penis/scrotum/vulva/clitoris”. Babies rarely roll their eyes and sigh when you talk about body parts! This gives you time to practice sounding and becoming comfortable. This gives you a way to establish early on that you are someone your child can come to with questions and concerns. This also gives your child the vocabulary they need to stay safe. (Studies have shown that sexual predators avoid children who use correct terminology.) Just remember, it is never too early and it is never too late!
• What if I have not talked to my teenager about sex and I don’t know how to start?
Just remember, it is never too early and it is never too late! Honesty is the best policy. If you have not spoken openly about sex as your child was growing up, you can start with something like, “My parents never talked to me about sex so I have been uncomfortable talking to you about it. I don’t want to be like my parents, though because you are facing all new issues today. I don’t want you to think it is OK to have sex yet, but I do want us to be able to look up questions and issues together. I have found a website/book with some great information. Maybe you have found some as well. Let’s take some time over the weekend and look at them together.” Many teens will respond to this by saying something like, “Oh, mom, I already know all that!” It is their job to roll their eyes, sigh and walk away. It is YOUR job to keep bringing it up casually. Here are some conversation starters:
“Isn’t amazing how people in the movies have sex but no one gets pregnant or a disease?”
“One of my co-workers daughters is pregnant. How would it change your life if your girlfriend were pregnant?
“I saw a new report on sexting. Has anyone at your school talked to the students about this?”
“I’ll bet you and your friends know way more about sexually transmitted diseases than I did at your age. I hadn’t realized chlamydia could make you infertile and it doesn’t always have symptoms. If you had a friend who was worried they might have gotten a disease, would you know where to tell them to go for testing?”
• What if our toddler walks in on us when we are having sex?
Smile. Seriously, a smile is the first thing you do. Don’t scream. Calmly cover yourself, tell your child that sometimes adults cuddle or play differently than kids do. Then take them by the hand, walk them back to their bed and see what they needed. Now isn’t this better than imprinting your child with the memory of you screaming at them to get out of your room?
• What is the best book to read to my child to answer questions about sex?
There are lots of good books out there and it depends upon your child’s age. Take a look at the Helpful Links section of our website.
• How can I convince my teenager not to have sex?
If they are determined to have sex, you probably cannot stop them, though there is research to indicate that youth who have had comprehensive, medically-accurate sex education delay first intercourse longer than those who have not. What you CAN do is help keep them safe. Talk to them about making sure they are really in love and not just infatuated, talk to them about how their life would be different if they created a pregnancy, talk to them about where they can go for birth control and STI testing and treatment. Take a look at our Tips for Talking with Teens, Helpful Links, or Resource Directory.

Frequently Asked Questions for Professionals

•How can I get certified as a sexuality educator?
AASECT (The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists) has certification process for sexuality educators. You can see their requirements here.

TPPP (Teen Pregnancy and Prevention Partnership) offers a less expensive, less time intensive certificate for those who successfully complete our 7 trainings on the topic areas of the National Sexuality Education Standards. Click the National Sexuality Education Standards Training for more information.
• Are there any online courses I can take to become a better sexuality educator?
Answer at Rutgers University has a number of very good online courses for about $150 each, visit their website for more information.
• How do I find resources for my students/clients/patients?

See TPPP’s Helpful Links or Resource Directory.
• How do I list our organization on TPPP’s Resource Directory?
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with information about your organization.
• Are there any Universities that offer degrees in Human Sexuality?
Widener University's Center for Human Sexuality Studies(CHSS) houses the only doctoral program in Human Sexuality Studies at a fully accredited university in the United States. Widner University is in Pennsylvania (close to Philadelphia) also offers a Master’s Degree in Human Sexuality. Classes are offered on weekends and weeknights for working professionals and commuters from across the country. Visit their website for more information.
• Are there easy ways to keep up-to-date on adolescent sexual health issues?
TPPP sends out a monthly E-new, sign-up on the bottom of this page under "Get Our Newsletter." Check our Twitter and Facebook pages for frequent updates.

Frequently Asked Questions for Students

• What is the overall goal of your program?
Our goal is to reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Missouri and increase comprehensive, medically-accurate, age-appropriate, evidence-based sexual health education. The goal of the trainings is for participants to become more informed, comfortable and confident teaching the subject matter.
• How do you try to reach the goals of your program?
The Teen Pregnancy & Prevention Partnership brings together individuals and private and public organizations to improve communication and education so that youth in Missouri make choices that decrease the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.
• What is your educational background and how many years experience do you have in this field and in social science or psychology?
The Executive Director did a practicum at a family planning clinic while in college getting a BA in Psychology and was hired by that clinic when she graduated. She later got an MA in Counseling Psychology and has been working in the field of sexuality education for about 30 years.

The Program Coordinator did a practicum at TPPP while getting her MPH. She was hired at the end of her practicum.
• What is the staff’s role in the program?
The Program Coordinator plans, implements, and evaluates all of the trainings and meetings we offer. The Executive Director does everything else (financial stuff, networking, grant writing and management, advocacy, development, etc.). Additionally, for all of the programming we offer, we bring in presenters who are experts in the field.
• What is your screening process for selecting staff members?
We look for individuals with college or advanced degrees in related fields who have a passion for the issue as well as some experience in the field. Volunteer experience can be very valuable.
• What are some of the other agencies that you and your program work with?
o Adolescent Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital
o Better Family Life
o BJC School Outreach & Youth Development
o Development Systems, Inc.
o Faith Aloud
o Family Resource Center
o Healthcare USA
o Kansas City Free Health Clinic
o Kornerstone, Inc., Shell Knob, MO
o Lutheran family & Children's Services
o Maplewood Richmond Hgts School District
o Maternal Child and Family Health Coalition
o Missouri Bootheel Regional Consortium
o Missouri Care Health Plan, An Aetna Company
o MO Dept. of Health & Senior Services
o Missouri Family Health Council
o Nurses for Newborns Foundation
o Office of Minority Health, Missouri DHSS
o Parent/Infant Interaction Program of St. Louis Public Schools
o Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region & Southwestern Missouri
o Premier Women's Health Care
o Project ARK
o Ruskin High School, Kansas City
o St. Louis Arc
o St. Louis Co. Dept of Health
o St. Louis University Family and Community Medicine
o The Spot
o Tri-Rivers Family Planning
o Wyman, Inc.
• Why is the issue of Teen Pregnancy important to society ( why prevention is necessary?)
Teen mothers are more likely to drop out of school and to live in poverty. Their children are more likely to experience abuse, neglect, and be on welfare. They are also more likely to perform poorly in school, repeat grades, be born at a low birth weight, and lack health care. Young women born to teen moms are more likely to be teen moms themselves and young men born to teen moms are more likely to be incarcerated. We want to be clear, however, that this is not true for every teen mother. Some finish school and do quite well!
• How does Teen Pregnancy impact society negatively (economic effects on community/state/nation?)
Every dollar spent on publically funded contraception services saves $3 in Medicaid costs. From 1991 to 2008 the costs associated with teen childbirth to Missouri tax payers was $4.6 billion ($ 25,797.48 per teen birth). In 2012 the cost of teen childbearing to Missouri tax payers was $215,000,000
• What do you believe are the defining causes that contribute to the issue of Teen Pregnancy?
Lack of comprehensive sexuality education, poverty, and lack of teen’s hope for the future.
• What do you believe is the most effective way in preventing or decreasing the rate of Teen Pregnancy?
Comprehensive, evidence-based sexuality education and youth development programs.
• What is Missouri currently doing to help reduce the rates of Teen Pregnancy?
Even though we know ½ the teens in Missouri have had sex, most schools are telling youth not to have sex and are not providing information on STI or pregnancy prevention. State law prevents schools from having guest speakers who work at agencies that provide or even refer for abortion, thus eliminating most health department nurses and educators. School districts are not required to teach reproduction and prevention but IF they do it EITHER has to be medically accurate OR follow the federal abstinence only until marriage guidelines. (Some of the curricula that meet these guidelines contain misinformation, such as “condoms have holes in them and will not provide protection.”)
• What can society do as a whole to help decrease the issue in America?
Talk, talk, talk. We somehow think it is inappropriate to talk about things that have to do with sex – a very natural gift that can come with some heavy consequences and responsibilities. If we do not prepare our children (ALL of our children) for the joys and problems associated with sex we are setting them up for failure. It is our Executive Director’s wish that everyone who has sex is able to get up the next morning, look in the bathroom mirror and say, “Yes! That was wonderful!” as opposed to, “Oh my God, what have we done?” If they are not comfortable with their marital status, their partner, or the situation they will not be able to do this.
• How does the Teen Pregnancy & Prevention Partnership work to prevent teen pregnancy? Are there specific prevention strategies for low income teens?
We work to prevent teen pregnancy by working with adults who work with teens. Specifically, we offer trainings and professional development meetings to help adults become more informed, comfortable and confident with the subject matter. The adults we work with are typically school nurses, social workers, therapists, health educators, or parents. Since we do not directly work with teens we do not have specific prevention strategies. We offer an annual conference each spring (Complete Information, Better Choices), Sexual Health 101 each fall (an introduction for those new to the field or an update for those looking for the most recent information regarding contraceptives, STIs and working with teens and parents). We also offer National Sexuality Education Standards (NSES) Trainings. The NSES offer guidelines for the minimum level of information youth from kindergarten through 12th grade should know for 7 subject areas (Anatomy and Physiology, Puberty and Adolescent Development, Identity, Pregnancy and Reproduction, STDs and HIV, Healthy Relationships, and Personal Safety). We offer trainings to adults so they are familiar with these guidelines and are prepared to cover the necessary information.
• What level of intervention (primary, secondary, tertiary) does the program address?
• What are the intervention program’s outcomes, and how are these measured/evaluated? What aspects of the program have been particularly successful? Unsuccessful?
The main outcome we measure is knowledge (improvement in knowledge caused by the training) which we measure using a pre/post-test design. People have been doing quite well on the post-test and not as well on the pre-test, which indicates the success of the program. The presentations are going well and participants say they thoroughly enjoy them.