Through Smart Programs, Care Net of Puget Sound, a pregnancy resource center offering free pregnancy help to women in need, is offering preventative education and life-affirming care to the young people of our communities.
Each year, in Washington State alone, it is estimated that 1,500 abortions are experienced by women between the ages of 15-19 years old. Though the rates of teen pregnancies have been declining since the 1990s, nationally teenagers between the ages of 13-19 account for 8% of abortions annually.
Young people between the ages of 15-24 will account for almost half of the new cases of STIs annually. In 2018, there were 26.2 million reports of STIs in the United States.
The Port of Seattle estimates that 500–700 children in King County alone are forced into prostitution every year.
It’s obvious that young people in our communities and schools are in desperate need of life-affirming care and preventative education on the risks of early sexual activity.
While sex education has gained traction in America over the past 80 years, many of those teaching sex ed in schools do not uphold a biblical understanding of sexuality or encourage lifestyles that protect students from the risks of early sexual behavior. Instead of receiving education that informs them of the real risks of STI/STDs, unplanned pregnancies, trafficking, and abusive relationships, students are encouraged to explore their sexuality from an early age and simply use contraception.
And the results are devastating. In fact, 40% of teens have reported that their sex ed class made them feel pressured to have sex. So what can we do? How can we uphold biblical sexual integrity that respects young people, recognizes their past or potential experiences, and offer them the support they need to avoid the risks of early sexual behavior?
This is where Care Net of Puget Sound’s Smart Programs comes in.
Part of our mission is to offer resources for sexual health and integrity. Since 1994, we have been offering students relationship education that equips them to make positive life decisions and form healthy relationships. Over the years, more than 200,000 young people have attended presentations from Care Net’s Smart Programs.
Our team of presenters go into public, private and religious schools and offer research-based presentations on issues such as sexually transmitted diseases, sex trafficking, teen pregnancy, unhealthy relationships, dating and boundaries, and more! We’re also able to share with them the unplanned pregnancy help that Care Net of Puget Sound offers. All our newly launched presentations are compliant with Washington State’s comprehensive sex ed requirements and available to public schools.
We also have faith-based options for religious schools where we share what the Bible says about our sexuality in a respectful, age-appropriate manner. We value the family dynamic, recognizing they are the primary influence and authority in a young person’s life. All of our curriculum is available for review by school administration, teachers, and parents so they have full access to what their young people will be learning.
If you are a church or ministry leader, parent or educator, we encourage you to learn more about our Smart Programs at realsmarts.org or email our Smart team directly at [email protected].
Together we can offer education that truly empowers students, encourages sexual risk avoidance, provides life-affirming resources for pregnancy and sexual health, and transforms our communities one student at a time.
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Thank you for being a part of this work!