MANSFIELD — Richland Public Health has received grant funding of $300,000 per year — for the next three years — from The Ohio Department of Youth Services Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).
PREP is funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for the purposes of providing an evidence-based adult preparation curriculum to youth between the ages of 14-21 who are in foster care, group homes, independent living, juvenile justice, or alternative schools. With this segment of the youth population being more likely to engage in risky behaviors, they are more likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI), become teen parents, and/or have a higher level of difficulty transitioning into adulthood.
Richland Public Health’s grant funding is to train foster care, group home, independent living, juvenile justice, alternative school, and/or social service agency staff across a 20-county area of Northwest Ohio (Allen, Ashland, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot counties) to implement the PREP curriculum with the youth they serve.
“Preparing and supporting our youth to grow-up to be responsible, healthy, and successful adults is crucial to the advancement of our community” said Dr. Julie Chaya, Director of Community Health & Prevention Sciences at Richland Public Health. “This investment in our area’s youth provides them the opportunity to critically think about how the personal decisions and life choices they make now affect how they experience adulthood. This is a chance for them to make health behavior and lifestyle changes for the better. When our youth succeed, so does our economy, our overall health and well-being, and our community’s quality of life.”
For more information on PREP, please visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Family & Youth Services Bureau website.