Health service providers are pivotal in ensuring that young people can access the SRH services they need and to which they are entitled. Part of CSE is informing young people about the services available to them and supporting their access to these services.
By engaging health workers, CSE programmers in- and out-of-school can support the integration of youth friendly SRH services that prioritise the needs and concerns of young people within the community health system.
A partnership between the health and education sectors is essential for the development of linkages between provision of sexuality education programmes and availability of youth-friendly services. Providing education without also guaranteeing access to sexual health services including condoms and contraception is less effective and even unethical.
CSE practitioners working with children and young people gather important insights into why young people do or do not access the SRH services they need. By relaying this information to health providers (whilst maintaining the confidentiality of the young people concerned), CSE programmers can help health providers to overcome potential barriers that young people face in accessing SRH services. Schools and school staff are respected by community members, and can act as an intermediary between parents and service providers.
Health care providers are also important resources for CSE programmers to support knowledge building on CSE. Working closely and creating linkages with health workers also helps to establish an effective referral system – so that CSE programmers who encounter children or young people with specific individual needs which they are not able to cater for, can refer them to health or medical practitioners for additional support.
CSE programmers need to remember that, like them, service providers and parents may also have issues with adolescents receiving and accessing information and services to do with sexual and reproductive health.
Here are some successful strategies for engaging and working with healthcare providers in providing CSE:
(Source: IPPF, 2017 -- Deliver + Enable Toolkit)