TeenNow California, formerly the California Alliance Concerned with School Age Parenting and Pregnancy Prevention (CACSAP), has been providing support and services to people who work in teen parent programs and teen pregnancy prevention for almost 40 years. (Our 40-year anniversary is in 2011!) During that time, we’ve conducted trainings, put on conferences, helped with advocacy issues, and provided resources and guidance to our members and others in the field. We’ve recently expanded some of our services, and changed some others. While there are some services and programs that are open only to members, others are available to everyone involved in working with adolescents.
As agencies and other organizations begin to prepare for the new Federal funding, TeenNow California is here to help. We can work with agencies on finding a suitable evidence-based curriculum to use, and we even have a lending library (one of the features available only to members) of some select curricula. Members can check out up to two curricula at a time, browse through the materials, and return them to us. This lets you take a thorough look at the curricula before purchasing it, and helps you make sure that it really meets the needs of your population. In addition, we can provide information and advice on curriculum selection to anyone, member or not, who is planning on applying for this money.
We also provide training and technical assistance one-on-one to agencies working with adolescent reproductive health. From program development to evaluation, and all the steps in between, TeenNow California staff and partners can help you make sure that your program is run in the most effective way possible. In addition to on-site technical assistance, we offer trainings on demand so you can provide your staff, coalition, or school district with targeted training to meet your professional development needs.
Our web site is a clearinghouse of information, from updates from top researchers in the field to legislative tracking. We provide links to resources, we create materials to help you in your work, and we serve as a source of information so you can keep up-to-date on the issues that affect your work and the youth you serve. We send out an e-newsletter every month that contains in-depth information on new opportunities, policy issues, event listings and featured articles, and also have a weekly e-blast that provides timely information in a shorter format than the monthly newsletter. and, we have a presence on Facebook and Twitter to keep you updated constantly
The annual conference continues to rate among the top conferences in California for this field. Every year we provide compelling keynote speakers, panels, timely and relevant workshops, and a great opportunity to network with colleagues and old friends. This year we recognize that the economy and the state of California’s budget has taken a toll on people’s ability to travel, so we are offering two separate conferences, one in Northern California (Sacramento) and one in Southern California (San Bernardino). We’re finalizing the dates now and will be announcing them in the coming weeks.
We also advocate for teen parent programs and teen pregnancy prevention programs. We organize our members, we form groups to create strategies, and we provide information and resources that people can use in their own advocacy efforts. TeenNow California (then CACSAP) was instrumental in the creation of the California School Age Families Education (Cal-SAFE) program, and has been working hard to ensure that the program survives the current budget crisis. We also worked on the effort to preserve Community Challenge Grant (CCG) funding when it was eliminated from the budget—and working together with leaders from around the state, we were able to get the funding put back in.
And of course we’re always looking for new ways to provide value to the field of teen parenting and pregnancy prevention. We know that agencies don’t have a lot of resources for professional development, and we know that professional development is a key component of workplace satisfaction and employee retention. We want to keep the dedicated women and men in this field here, in this field, so they can continue to provide valuable services to California’s teens. Because of this, we aim to create more professional development opportunities that agencies, schools and individuals can take advantage of to improve the skills and morale of staff.
So come grow with us, and get involved in TeenNow California. Whether you want to become a member, present a workshop at our conference, schedule an on-demand training, or take advantage of any of our other services, we’re here for you.