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Teen Health - Youth Development Program Initiative

Teen Health - Youth Development Program Initiative

Teen Health Initiatives - Youth Centered Programs

Our Teen Health Initiatives (THI) program focuses on the health and well-being of adolescents within Central Jersey and throughout NJ through various partnerships.

Our Positive Youth Development Specialists (PYDS) are caring, trusted and competent adults who bring medically accurate, inclusive, developmentally and culturally appropriate programming to youth to assist with the development of:

  • Protective Factors
  • Internal Assets
  • Connectedness and Belonging
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Self-Regulation
  • Strong Sense of Self
  • Autonomy
  • Healthy Decision-Making Skills
  • Future Aspirations and Goal Setting

Our THI team is trained to facilitate the following promising evidence-based programs:

Teen Outreach Program® (TOP):
Wyman’s evidence-based Teen Outreach Program® (TOP) is a positive youth development program designed to help teens build educational success, life and leadership skills, and healthy behaviors and relationships. As a result, teens are better able to navigate challenges during the teenage years—a time when decisions matter.

Teens build and hone social and emotional skills, like manage emotions, problem-solving, decision making and empathy, that are proven to help them be successful during the teenage years, and also later in life.

Teens improve academic performance, and lower risky behaviors like truancy and suspension that lead to dropout.

CJFHC is a Wyman Replication Partner and is able to train facilitators to implement TOP. As a Replication Partner, CJFHC provides technical assistance, program and fidelity monitoring.

Please visit Teen Outreach Program (TOP) | Wyman Center for more information.

Reducing the Risk (RTR):
Developed by ETR, Reducing the Risk (RTR) is a 16-session curriculum designed to help high school students delay the initiation of sex or increase the use of protection against pregnancy and STD/HIV if they choose to have sex. This research-proven approach addresses skills such as risk assessment, communication, decision making, planning, refusal strategies and delay tactics.

Teens learn refusal skills or ways to say NO without jeopardizing good relationships, but leaving no room for misinterpretation or ambiguity about the decision to not have sex or refuse to have unprotected sex.

Teens learn delay tactics and alternative actions or ways students can avoid a situation or delay acting until they have had time to decide what to do or say until they are more prepared to make a decision.

Students learn and practice ways to resist pressure to have sex. Communication and decision-making skills will be taught throughout the lessons.

Please visit Reducing-the-Risk_info_2022.pdf ( for more information.

Love Notes SRA:
Love Notes SRA, developed by the Dibble Institute, is an evidence-based program. Love Notes (for adolescents and young adults, including pregnant and parenting teens) feature brand-new, highly relevant content, including:

How to navigate relationships in the digital age

  • Sex trafficking prevention
  • Consent and sexual assault prevention
  • Online sharing, sexting, sextortion, and digital consent
  • Greater depth discussions of casual sex, “hooking up,” and “hook-up culture.”

A strength-based approach which uses popular media and innovative activities to engage young people in learning. The evidence-based content has optional materials that allow facilitators to go deeper on topics that are meaningful to young people.

Through Love Notes’ 13 lessons, participants discover, often for the first time, how to make wise choices about partners, sex, relationships, pregnancy, and more.

Please visit Love Notes 4.0 Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) Adaptation – The Dibble Institute for more information.

Teen Speak:
Parenting education is provided through Teen Speak workshops. Teen Speak was developed by Dr. Jennifer Salerno for parents. This workshop provides parents with evidence-based tools developed to improve parent and pre-teen/teen communication and relationship.  Attendees of this 4-hour workshop will develop skills to:

  • Overcome Arguments
  • Increase Trust and
  • Maintain Strong Relationships
  • Support parents to feel more equipped and confident when talking through challenging situations with their tweens & teens
  • Nurture parent-teen connectedness as a protective factor to reduce youth risk

Please visit Homepage | Teen Speak ( for more information.

This is a 4-hour workshop which is completed in two, 2-hour sessions. Registration and all materials are free to participants.

Safe Sitter® Essentials:
This course is designed to prepare students in grades 6-8 to be safe when they are home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. Students learn how to practice important safety skills, handle emergencies, care for children, and treat illnesses and injuries. Some classes even teach CPR. In addition, students learn important business skills such as how to screen jobs, set a wage, and work with employers.

  • Safety Skills
  • Child Care Skills
  • First Aid & Rescue Skills (CPR included in Safe ® Essentials with CPR and Safe Sitter® Expanded)
  • Life & Business Skills

Please visit Babysitting Classes and Safety Training - Safe Sitter® for more information.

Our Teen Health Initiatives team, also provides presentations including but not limited to:

  • Stress Reduction
  • Teen Dating Violence
  • Digital Stalking
  • Sexual & Reproductive Coercion
  • Consent
  • Human Papilloma Virus Cancer Prevention
  • Adolescent Brain Development

If you are interested in our team providing any of these programs and/or trainings, please contact the Diana Bastianelli, Child and Adolescent Health Director at 732-937-5437 Ext. 209 or by clicking this link. All programs are offered in English and Spanish.

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