Development for Youth (DFY) intervention was developed in 1991 as a comprehensive HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention intervention for use with high risk adolescents in juvenile justice settings in NYS. The program was designed to help high-risk youth learn information, explore values and attitudes, and develop skills to reduce pregnancy and HIV/STD risks. CAI has adapted this original curriculum to meet the needs of youth is foster care and has renamed the intervention DFY Take Charge!. CAI has conducted rigorous evaluations on the intervention over a 6 year period. This research is supported by the Family and Youth Services Bureau, the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services, in cooperation with the Office of Adolescent Health, through a funding opportunity to support demonstration projects that use innovative strategies to prevent pregnancies among youth through the Personal Responsibility Education Innovative Strategies (PREIS) program.
DFY Take Charge! is a teen-focused, skill-building intervention delivered to youth aged 12-19 within foster care agencies. The intervention explores various issues that relate to sexual behavior including feelings, values, attitudes, decisions, sex, drugs, communications, relationships and responsibility. The DFY Take Charge! intervention is designed to address the developmental needs of adolescents in 12 , two hour sessions that are comprised of a variety of highly interactive activities which allow youth to:
• Increase cognitive and emotional awareness and management skills that help participants better manage their behaviors. Increase skills related to sexual risks behaviors such as coping, decision making and communication skills.
• Help adolescents make healthier choices through skills building, accurate information, interactive discussions, peer support and sharing.
As a group-level intervention, DFY's peer-to-peer environment allows participants to gain support and promotes healthy choices thereby increasing self-efficacy, self-determination and individual capacity to shape positive life outcomes.