Sexual Health Consultation Preparation

Additional Guidance and Resources for Preparing

Creating a supportive environment for sexual health work - good practice guidelines for creating supportive social environments for young people. Youth organisations should:

  • Work with young people in a way that promotes respect, honesty and openness in a non-judgemental environment.
  • Provide young people with access to accurate, age-appropriate sexual health information in attractive and user-friendly formats.
  • Provide opportunities for young people to participate in needs-based sexual health education programmes.
  • Provide young people with opportunities to access workers of both genders, particularly in the context of sexual health education.
  • Promote equality and an acceptance of difference and diversity, particularly with regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, culture and disability.
  • Have developed and implemented referral procedures that best meet the needs of the young people with whom they work.
  • Provide young people with a safe space in which they feel comfortable in discussing issues of concern and importance in relation to their sexual health.
  • Empower young people to have a voice and to actively participate in decision-making processes within the organisation.

Good-practice guidelines for creating supportive social environments for workers. Youth organisations should:

  • Promote a working environment for all workers that is based on respect, honesty, openness and a non-judgemental approach.
  • Ensure that workers have access to induction, training, support and supervision, and a safe space in which to discuss issues of concern (see below for further information).
  • Promote equality and an acceptance of difference and diversity, particularly with regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, culture and disability.
  • Ensure that a range of policies have been developed and implemented to support the sexual health work, including sexual health policy, equality policy, child protection policy, health and safety policy, bullying policy, substance use policy, etc.
  • Provide workers with opportunities to access accurate, up-to-date information that supports them in their work in this area.
  • Provide equal opportunities for workers to participate in organisational decision-making on the basis of their skills and experience.
  • Promote a working environment that encourages empowerment and personal growth among workers.
  • Provide opportunities for workers to build relationships and work in partnership with relevant external agencies in support of their work in this area.

Creation of an environment conducive to sexual health:

  • Developing personal awareness of environmental influences on sexual health;
  • Acquiring skills needed to identify and influence the social practices/ policies/structures that affect sexual health.
  • Prevention of Sexual Health Problems:
  • Prevention of unintended/crisis pregnancy;
  • Prevention of STIs including HIV/AIDS;
  • Prevention of sexual harassment/exploitation/abuse.
  • the policy incorporates the organisation’s equality statement.
  • Ensure that the policy takes account of the organisation’s child protection policy.
  • Acknowledge the need for and actively seek adequate resources for the implementation of the sexual health policy within the organisation.
  • Acknowledge the need for and actively encourage the provision of training in sexual health for all involved in the organisation.
  • Research and become familiar with relevant local support, expertise and resources available in relation to young people’s sexual health.
  • Monitor the implementation of the policy on an ongoing basis.
  • Evaluate the policy at agreed intervals e.g. every three years.