Original Research Article|Articles in Press, 109993

Caregivers of youth in foster care in Texas and their role in contraception decision-making for adolescents in care



      This study describes the perspectives of caregivers of youth in foster care in Texas about the caregiver’s role in adolescent contraception decision-making for adolescents in their care, particularly for long-acting reversible contraception. The study also explores how providers and foster care agencies can better support pregnancy prevention for youth in care.

      Study design

      Researchers recruited 18 caregivers of youth in care from an academic center in Texas to complete in-person, one-on-one, semistructured interviews from August to December 2019. Two independent coders identified the main concepts with thematic analysis; discrepancies were resolved by consensus.


      Most caregivers identified as female (88%), Black (59%), and ranged in age from 30 to 69 years old. Half (47%) reported previously caring for an adolescent who was pregnant or parenting. Themes from the interviews included the importance of building relationships before contraception conversations, the balance between adolescent autonomy and strict caregiver oversight in contraceptive decision-making, variation in beliefs about contraception for youth in care, and extreme reactions to long-acting reversible contraception in both directions. Providers and foster care agencies played an important role managing confidential expectations and providing resources or trainings about contraception.


      In a region of the country with high rates of adolescent pregnancy, strategies that empower adolescent autonomy allow delicate caregiver oversight, provide comprehensive information about all contraceptive options, and respond to extreme long-acting reversible contraception reactions and trainings that focus on the context of contraception that should inform communication-based interventions to address teen pregnancy prevention among youth in care.


      Few studies address the experiences of caregivers of adolescents in foster care. This study highlights a range of caregiver attitudes about contraception for adolescents in care. Provider training regarding contraception should include strategies to manage caregiver beliefs and extreme reactions to contraception use among youth in care.


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