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Sexuality and relationship education courses for parents and carers now available online

Friday 17th April 2020

Family Planning NSW sexuality and relationship courses aiming to improve reproductive and sexual health outcomes in Lithgow will now be available online, adhering to NSW Health recommended infection control and social distancing practices.

The FPNSW webinars are tailored for parents and carers and take a whole-of-community approach, recognising the role that the community plays in shaping a person’s attitudes towards their reproductive and sexual health.

Traditionally the responsibility of sexuality and relationship education has sat almost entirely within the school curriculum, however, this doesn’t account for the varying needs of young people - some of who may be disengaged from school - and also may not cater for students with intellectual disability.

According to Jodie Duggan, FPNSW Director of Clinical Operations, "moving these courses to an online platform allows people across Lithgow to continue accessing comprehensive sexuality and relationship education while acting in line with NSW Health advice around social distancing during this time."

"It means that we can we can continue to share expertise and advice for parents and carers, to increase their confidence to support their child or family member's personal development, education and sexuality in a positive way - and ultimately, young people will benefit from that."

The courses aim to improve reproductive and sexual health outcomes in Lithgow, where teen pregnancy rates are currently higher than wider NSW1, and STI detection rates are lower.

The courses available for parents and carers of teens include information on trends, laws and issues related to adolescent's sexual health and provide strategies and resources to support teen sexual health. They will also provide guidance on discussing sex, sexuality and relationships with young people.

Courses tailored for parents and carers of people with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders will cover topics such as disability and sexuality, preparing for puberty, decision making and safety, taking care of health and hygiene and supporting positive and safe sexual expression.

"We want to ensure that young people in Lithgow, in all cross-sections of society, are able to access improved relationship and sexuality education to help support them with their reproductive and sexual health," said Jodie.

"We recognise that accessing this education in a formal school setting will not benefit everybody, and we want to incorporate parents and carers on this journey to improve their confidence in navigating these topics as well."

Courses are based on a 2019 Needs Assessment conducted by Family Planning NSW which found that almost 80 per cent of parents and carers in Lithgow had not participated in a sexual and reproductive health workshop. They are available free of charge, made possible through the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.

These courses are being delivered through webinars starting from the end of April. Anybody wanting information on eligibility or enrolment can contact the FPNSW Health Promotion team on healthpromotion@fpnsw.org.au or visit the FPNSW website for more information.

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  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016, Births, Australia (Cat.no. 3301.0)


Media enquiries: Family Planning NSW E: media@fpnsw.org.au M: 0402 880 653 W: https://www.fpnsw.org.au

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