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Fact Sheet


The Personal Responsibility Education Program, created through the recently passed Health Care Reform legislation, will provide individual states with grants for comprehensive sex education that provides young people with complete, medically accurate, and age-appropriate sex education in order to help them reduce their risk of unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Programs would also address life skills so that young people can make responsible decisions and lead safe and healthy lives.
The program totals $75 million a year for the period 2010–2014.Each state will be allotted a minimum of $250,000. If a state does not submit an application for Fiscal Years 2010 or 2011 it will no longer be eligible to apply for funding, and the Secretary of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services will be able to award three-year grants to community-based and faith-based organizations and local entities in that state using the allotted funds for Fiscal Years 2012–2014.
Program Requirements
  • The term personal responsibility education program indicates a program that is designed to educate adolescents on:
o   Both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and STIs, including HIV/AIDS.
o   At least three of the following adulthood preparation subjects:
- Healthy relationships, such as positive self-esteem and relationship dynamics, friendships, dating, romantic involvement, marriage, and family interactions.
- Adolescent development, such as the development of healthy attitudes and values toward adolescent growth and development, body image, racial and ethnic diversity, etc.
- Financial literacy.
- Educational and career success, such as developing skills for employment preparation, job seeking, independent living, financial self-sufficiency, and workplace productivity.
- Healthy life skills, such as goal setting, decision making, negotiation, communication and interpersonal skills, and stress management.
  • Programs are required to:
o   Replicate evidence-based effective programs or substantially incorporate elements of effective programs that have been proven on the basis of rigorous scientific research to change behavior, including delaying sexual activity, increasing condom or contraceptive use for sexually active youth, or reducing pregnancy among youth.
o   Be medically accurate and complete.
o   Include activities to educate youth who are sexually active regarding responsibility sexual behavior with respect to both abstinence and the use of contraception.
o   Place substantial emphasis on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and STIs.
o   Provide age-appropriate information and activities
o   Be carried out in the cultural context that is most appropriate for individuals in the particular population group to which they are directed.
Grants to Implement Innovative Strategies
  • Ten million dollars will be available for awarding grants to entities to implement innovative youth pregnancy prevention strategies and target services to high-risk, vulnerable, and culturally under-represented youth populations, including youth in foster care, homeless youth, youth with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women who are under 21 years of age and their partners, mothers who are under 21 years of age and their partners, and youth residing in areas with high birth rates for young parents.
Grants for Indian Tribes of Tribal Organizations
  • Approximately $3.5 million will be reserved for awarding grants to Indian tribes and tribal organizations.
Program Support and Evaluation
  • Approximately $6.5 million will be reserved for research, training, and technical assistance. This includes the dissemination of research and information regarding effective and promising practices; providing consultation and resources on a broad array of teen pregnancy prevention strategies, including abstinence and contraception; and developing resources and materials to support the activities of recipients of grants and other state, tribal, and community organizations working to reduce teen pregnancy. This funding will be provided directly or through a competitive grants process and requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to collaborate with a variety of entities that have expertise in the prevention of pregnancy, HIV, STIs, healthy relationships, financial literacy, and other topics addressed in the personal responsibility education program.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services will evaluate funded programs carried out by the states. An organization or entity awarded a grant must agree to participate in a rigorous federal evaluation.

Other Details
  • The program will be administered by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • The term age-appropriate indicates “topics, messages, and teaching methods suitable to particular ages or age groups of children and adolescents, based on developing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capacity typical for the age or age group.”
  • The term medically accurate and complete indicates that the information is “verified or supported by the weight of research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods” and is published in peer-reviewed journals, where applicable, or contains information that “leading professional organizations and agencies with relevant expertise in the field recognize as accurate, objective, and complete.”
  • Youth are defined as those between the ages of 10 and 20 years old.

Updated April 2010



National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education