Usa Alaska

USA Statutes : alaska
Title : Welfare, Social Services and Institutions
Chapter : Chapter 18. Programs and Services Related to Adolescents

In this chapter, 'department' means the Department of Health and Social Services.

In order to encourage and support community based initiatives to combat the many problems associated with adolescent pregnancy and parenthood, the department shall, from appropriations for that purpose, give grants or award contracts to fund a percentage of the cost of local projects designed to prevent adolescent pregnancy and assist adolescent parents in obtaining needed educational, vocational, and parenting skills.

The department, in coordination with local public and private agencies, shall design the program as a continuation of the training efforts related to independent living skills that were initiated when the state foster care recipients were identified as being likely to remain in state foster care until reaching the age of 18. The program design must require that program participants are directly involved in identifying the program activities that will prepare them for independent living.

(a) The department, in coordination with local public and private agencies, shall design, develop, and implement a foster care transition program to provide support and services to individuals who

(1) reach or have reached the age of 16 or older while in state foster care and have not yet reached the age of 21; and

(2) meet other eligibility criteria established by the department under (b) of this section.

(b) The department may adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of AS 47.18.300 - 47.18.390, including regulations establishing eligibility thresholds, standards, and limits for the program. The department shall develop the regulations in consultation with those public and private organizations considered necessary by the department.

(a) A person or group seeking funding under AS 47.18.100 shall apply to the department on a form provided by the department.

(b) When applying under (a) of this section, the applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the department that the proposed project

(1) has been designed with extensive assistance from local community members who represent a variety of interests, cultures, and perspectives on adolescent pregnancy and parenthood;

(2) is based on sound research, to the maximum extent possible;

(3) will maximize collaboration among all relevant agencies involved in the needs being addressed by the project;

(4) includes an evaluation component to measure project effectiveness;

(5) includes a public awareness campaign component.

(a) The department shall develop and implement statewide a continuing public awareness campaign, including appropriate public forums and workshops, radio and television public service announcements, and press releases designed to

(1) communicate to the public the scope and magnitude of the adolescent pregnancy and parenthood problem in the state;

(2) encourage community activities that will educate adults and adolescents about the importance of reducing adolescent pregnancy;

(3) enlist the active support and involvement of members of the public and community organizations in the development and implementation of community based programs and activities to reduce adolescent pregnancy and assist adolescent parents in obtaining needed educational, vocational, and parenting skills.

(b) A primary policy and objective of the public awareness campaign required under (a) of this section shall be to encourage adolescents to abstain from premarital sexual intimacy.


(a) Subject to the availability of an appropriation made for the purposes of AS 47.18.300 - 47.18.390, the program may provide

(1) education and vocational training;

(2) assistance in obtaining basic education and training;

(3) career and employment services;

(4) training in basic life skills;

(5) housing and utility assistance;

(6) mentoring and counseling; and

(7) other appropriate services to complement the efforts of former state foster care recipients to achieve self-sufficiency.

(b) In developing the program, the department shall cooperate with and coordinate the use of the resources available from other state and federal agencies designed to provide support and services consistent with the purposes of the program.

(a) The department shall take appropriate actions to publicize the availability of funds under AS 47.18.100 - 47.18.140.

(b) The department shall annually conduct regional conferences or workshops across the state to

(1) showcase the activities and achievements of projects funded under AS 47.18.100 - 47.18.140 for which the evaluation components have shown a high level of success;

(2) encourage and support the replication of these successful projects; and

(3) increase public awareness of the availability of state administered services and programs to address the many problems associated with adolescent pregnancy and parenthood.


(a) The department may implement the program through the award of contracts or grants to qualified entities to provide services under the program. The department may award contracts and grants if the contracts and grants further the purposes of and meet the requirements of AS 47.18.300 - 47.18.390 and applicable regulations adopted under those sections.

(b) Contracts awarded under this section shall be administered in accordance with AS 47.05.015 and regulations adopted under that section. Grants awarded under this section shall be awarded using requirements established in regulations adopted under AS 47.18.300 - 47.18.390 that are substantially similar to those set out in AS 47.05.015 for contracts.

(a) Projects funded under AS 47.18.100 shall be designed with a holistic approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of adolescent parenthood and a broad array of related circumstances, such as low self-esteem, domestic violence, substance abuse, economic security, financial responsibilities of having a child, cultural integrity, sources of adolescent stress, parenting skills, educational and vocational opportunities, and access to reproductive health services.

(b) Projects funded under AS 47.18.100 may include one or more of the following types of activities:

(1) family life education;

(2) counseling services for adolescents who are, or who may think they are, pregnant or who want to avoid pregnancy;

(3) prenatal care for pregnant adolescents;

(4) job training and placement for adolescent parents;

(5) educational and support services for adolescent parents;

(6) other activities that, in the judgment of the department, are likely to have a tangible effect on combating a problem associated with adolescent pregnancy or parenthood.

In AS 47.18.300 - 47.18.390,

(1) 'program' means the foster care transition program authorized under AS 47.18.300 - 47.18.390;

(2) 'qualified entities' means municipalities, other political subdivisions of the state, nonprofit corporations formed under AS 10.20, churches and religious organizations, and incorporated and unincorporated entities operating within the state that meet the requirements established by the department in regulation;

(3) 'state foster care' means foster care, as defined in AS 47.10.990, that is provided to a person who is in the custody of the department under AS 47.10 and AS 47.12.


(a) The department shall develop and implement a continuing statewide program of technical support and assistance to encourage school districts, municipalities, and nonprofit corporations incorporated under AS 10.20 that initiate implementation, or that are considering implementation, of adolescent peer counseling groups under adult supervision for

(1) prevention of adolescent behavioral patterns that jeopardize physical and mental health and that hamper social, educational, and personal development; and

(2) spreading information about services that are available to adolescents to help them with their health needs.

(b) The program of technical support required under (a) of this section must include

(1) suggested methods for maintaining a high level of adolescent, parental, and community support for peer counseling groups;

(2) workshops, seminars, or other training opportunities for adolescent peer counselors and their adult leaders; this training must include sessions to

(A) develop interpersonal communications skills;

(B) teach accurate health information, emphasizing sexual development;

(C) provide information about services that are available in the peer counselors' areas and how those services can be obtained for pregnancy prevention, and prenatal care; and

(D) encourage adolescents to avoid major risk-taking behavior and to reinforce responsible behavior and self control;

(3) assistance in selecting appropriate resource materials for the groups;

(4) recommended mechanisms for effectively monitoring and evaluating the activities and accomplishments of the groups; and

(5) other similar services to assist and encourage school districts and municipalities in establishing and administering adolescent peer counseling groups.

(c) In developing the program of technical support and assistance required under (a) of this section, the department shall review and consider the activities and accomplishments in other states that have developed peer counseling networks. The department shall solicit contributions of money and expertise from the private sector that may be available for this type of program.


(a) With the advice of the Alaska Human Relations Commission, the department shall develop a comprehensive statewide plan to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of state programs that relate to the prevention of adolescent pregnancy and the provision of services to adolescent parents and their children under AS 47.18.100 - 47.18.140, and to peer counseling under AS 47.18.200 .

(b) The plan developed under (a) of this section must

(1) review and include existing programs and services of state government;

(2) examine and consider the achievements and experiences of projects that are similar to those authorized under AS 47.18.100 - 47.18.140 and 47.18.200;

(3) give priority to the consolidation and improvement of existing programs;

(4) make recommendations with regard to the need for new or expanded programs and services within the existing level of funding;

(5) consider the findings and recommendations of the Alaska's Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenthood Task Force; and

(6) make recommendations concerning the incremental implementation of the plan.

(c) The Department of Education and Early Development, the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development shall assist the department in developing the plan required under (a) of this section. In addition, through appropriate means, the department shall solicit advice from teens, parents, educators, school administrators, taxpayers, civic groups, community organizations, Native organizations, officials of local governments, religious institutions, and other concerned persons about how state programs can be coordinated and operated in a manner that will enhance their effectiveness and efficiency in addressing the many needs associated with adolescent parenting, the prevention of adolescent pregnancies, and the provision of adolescent peer counseling.