Obstacles to sexual health services for youth: Service providers' perspectives

van der Meulen, Emily; Oliver, Vanessa; Flicker, Sarah; Travers, Robb
December 2010
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2010, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p185
Academic Journal
In 2006/2007, the Toronto Teen Survey investigated barriers and facilitators to youth (ages 13 to 18+) access to sexual health services. The results of the surveys were presented to 13 focus groups of 80 service providers (SPs) from 55 agencies around the Greater Toronto Area. Funding and resource allocation were seen as primary barriers to providing adequate sexual health promotion and services. Coding and analysis of focus group transcripts identified two primary categories of concern: (1) Distribution and Amount of Resources (including lack of funding, length of funding agreements, and increased competition for scarce financial resources among service providing organizations and agencies); and (2) Resources for Specific Services (including peer education, translation services, and targeting specific populations of youth). SPs recommendations for change included: approachable staff; school-based outreach; increased accessibility and visibility; peer-to-peer outreach; increased and constant funding; and sharing and partnerships among SPs. Implications for the improvement of youth sexual health services and promotion are discussed.


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