Adults Who Care
This page is for anyone who spends time with adolescents and cares about their health. Maybe you work in a school, for a youth-serving organization, or you’re a parent. Many adolescents rely on the adults in their lives as they face challenges and make important decisions.
In fact, teens say that parents most influence their decisions about sex. We hope this content helps start and support meaningful conversations between you and the adolescents in your life. Learn more below about how to support the young people in your life in making safe, healthy choices.
Know Their Rights
Minors in Illinois (age 12 and over) are legally allowed access to testing and treatment for STIs, and to get birth control without anyone’s permission.
Young people should be encouraged to discuss these important topics with a trusted adult, but legally, they can access these services without the permission of a parent or guardian.
Details about rights for minors in Illinois
Unaccompanied minors in Illinois may access primary health care services at a provider’s discretion without notifying a parent.
This law applies only to minors aged 14-18 years, provided they are living independently and are managing their own affairs. Such a minor is not legally required to be homeless, nor is that minor required to be formally emancipated from a parent.
Connecting Youth to Health Care
The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Office of Student Health & Wellness provides support for trusted adults referring youth to Health Care services.
All school personnel can refer students to sexual health services (SHS) through:
- One-on-one conversations with students
- Raising general awareness to all staff and students about where students can access this health care
A referral point person or team at each school can coordinate the school’s efforts from finding a health center for referrals to answering staff/parent questions. Check out the one-pager below:
Help a young person locate health care or other services:
Visit the Chicago Department of Public Health’s Resource Guide and search by service type, or click on a topic to get started – then narrow down by zip code to locate services in your area.
Note: this site is constantly updated based on user input, so be sure to use the feedback button on the upper right hand corner if you encounter missing or inaccurate information.
The CPS Sexual Health Education curriculum builds a foundation of knowledge and skills for students in grades K-12 – lessons are age-appropriate for every grade level. The curriculum is overseen by the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness (OSHW). To help students make informed decisions and safe choices, the CPS curriculum covers topics such as human development, healthy relationships, decision making, abstinence, contraception and disease prevention.
CPS Sexual Health Resources
Click here to view the following sexual health education resources:
- CPS Sexual Health Education Policy
- Sexual Health Education Overview
- Scope and Sequence of Sexual Health Education
- Sexual Health Curriculum Connection Parent Letter
- Sexual Health Curriculum One-pager
- Sexual Health Curriculum Connection
- CPS Sexual Health Education for Parents
Keeping Youth Safe
There are resources available and CPS policies in place to help keep students safe while they’re at school. Read on to learn more.
LGBTQ+ Safety and Gender Identity Guidelines
Many LGBTQ+ youth feel unsafe in their school environment. Learn more about what the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness is doing to create safe and supportive environments for LGBTQ+ students
Guidelines Regarding the Support of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse
CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness has partnered with the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center to develop a training to educate all CPS staff and community members about sexual abuse prevention and response, including mandated reporter obligations under Illinois law and CPS policy.
Protecting Chicago’s Children: Self Guided Training
Abuse is a serious matter and it is up to adults to keep young people safe. CPS and Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center created the below printable resources “4 Things You Need to Know to Stay Safe”:
Learn more about the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center here.
Dating and Sexual Violence
To assist in identifying what steps need to be taken in the event that you learn that an act of sexual violence has taken place, please view the CPS Sexual Violence Response Tree.