The South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is always looking to improve how we gather, prepare and disseminate information. As a part of this process we routinely review our strategic plan as it is a guide that drives the agency towards continued success. As a result of our routine review of our guiding principles, the Agency has been engaged in the development of an updated dynamic, strategic plan.
A tremendous amount of research has been completed to arrive at this point, which includes an array of data/information gathering sessions with the Board of Directors, SC Campaign staff and our external partners. In addition to the cross section of professionals listed above, we also reached out to experts in human services, business leaders and private funders in this process.
What you will discover below is a set of commitments that were developed as a result of our internal efforts to stay true to our core existence.
recognizes the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy should be known throughout the state as a leader in teen pregnancy prevention among both traditional and non-traditional partners, especially among community leaders including local and state elected officials, and youth serving professionals.
What does it mean? Why does it matter?
Continued progress in South Carolina requires expanded efforts for all of us working in teen pregnancy prevention. We must continue to foster relationships with individuals and organizations like the Department of Health and Environmental Control and Department of Social Services but also build our network of influence –from decisions makers in the State House to those in our local school districts and among adults who have the greatest influence on our young people – from parents and caregivers to coaches, teachers, and clinicians.
We will strive to build a presence throughout South Carolina, paying particular interest to the areas of greatest need. An area of high need is defined as counties who have both high numbers of births and a high rate compared to state averages. For detailed information on our calculation, check out Accelerating Progress: A Road Map for Achieving Further Reductions in Teen Pregnancy. It will also be important to concentrate our efforts within high-need populations such as the foster care and juvenile justice systems; however, in order to see positive outcomes become a realization, we will need more invested people at the table.
IMPACT SYSTEMS to create sustainable change
acknowledges a need for us to work at the highest level (state level agencies, district level policies) in order to provide teens with greater access to high quality evidence based teen pregnancy prevention services and programs.
What does this mean? Why does it matter?
Our greatest chance for success and sustainability happens when we can impact larger systems on the district, county, or state level such as policy changes within the Department of Health and Environmental Control, full-scale implementation within the Department of Juvenile Justice, and statewide policy updates for comprehensive sex education. While one-off projects may provide communities with a programmatic band-aid, they do not present opportunities for systemic change. Policies and procedures can often create barriers for young people who are trying to access age-appropriate, comprehensive, evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention services and programs.
We, along with youth serving professionals on the local level, must ensure that we are making it as easy as possible for a young person to learn about love, sex and relationships. Our job has been, and will continue to be, eliminating barriers; we call on our partners to join us in this effort because while we provide wholesale service, it is our local partners that have the ability to directly impact the lives of young people. We need YOU – the caring parent, business owner, health teacher, etc. – to do the retail work. As an expert in your community, it’s time to be a part of the solution.
PUSH INNOVATION to respond to a changing environment
keeps the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy in the forefront of using technology and other new and emerging methodologies to stay relevant and competitive. By definition, an organization can’t be a leader by doing the “same old thing”.
What does this mean? Why does this matter?
It’s possible to hold ourselves accountable to best practices and our mission while also being innovative. The world young people are living in is changing rapidly, and if we want to remain relevant we cannot hold on to antiquated practices and policies that are out of touch with today’s youth. In our technologically-driven society, it’s almost reprehensible to still be teaching sex education out of a 25-year-old textbook, yet that is the reality for many of our school districts across the state. While it may be true that a great deal of the material is accurate, we must do better. We need to meet young people where they are and at the very least use the tools they are using.
BE ACCOUNTABLE to our mission and best practices
affirms the SC Campaign’s commitment to lead by example and ensures human and financial resources are maximized.
What does this mean? Why does this matter?
We partner with local programs throughout the state of South Carolina and hold those partners accountable to very high standards, but it’s important to note that we are committed to not only talking the talk but also walking the walk. It’s the reason research has always been, and will continue to be, our sort variable. We stand behind programs and approaches that are evidence-based, age-appropriate and medically accurate. We push our staff to be their best and to follow best practices in the field – whether that be our research, communications, or even human resource efforts. While our staff are expected to utilize programs with proven track records, we also encourage continued research and development, which will add to the growing body of evidence and understanding of what works in preventing teen pregnancy.
This is important for two reasons. First, teen pregnancy is a complex issue and the prevention of science is equally as complex and dynamic. New products and programs will continue to emerge and must be assessed for their potential contribution to reducing teen pregnancy in South Carolina, and elsewhere. Second, it is quite possible that there are effective programs and strategies that already exist but have not had the opportunity to be carefully evaluated and studied.
To us, being accountable also means staying true to our mission, which we have done over the course of our 20-year history. Since 1994, we have been the only organization in South Carolina that provides training and capacity building to organizations in each of the state’s 46 counties with a steadfast dedication to this single issue. We’ve used science and research to guide our practice; leveraged funds at the state and national level; and become a leader in the conversation about preventing teen pregnancy, not just in South Carolina, but across the country.
Want to make a difference in South Carolina? Find out how you can get involved.