Fact Forward envisions a world where all youth and young adults have the opportunity of a healthy, bright, self-determined future.
Fact Forward's mission is to promote the optimal health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities in South Carolina and beyond by advancing sexual and reproductive health for all youth and young adults.
Our Core Values
Facilitate a Community of Practice that:
- Centers youth and young adult voices.
- Respects all youth/young adults and whom they hope to be.
- Fosters an environment of safety and security.
- Advances evidence- and practice-based approaches to sexual and reproductive health.
- Ensures equity in policy, programmatic, and clinical approaches to sexual and reproductive health.
- Promotes access to culturally responsive, youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health education and services.
About Fact Forward
Fact Forward has led a statewide effort to advocate for teen reproductive health since 1994. Due in part to our work over the past 25 years, the teen birth rate in South Carolina has declined 73%...but there’s still more work to do. STIs are on the rise, and unintended pregnancies among young adults are up. We changed our name to Fact Forward in 2019 to reflect our broader commitment to reproductive health because, increasingly, our work has expanded beyond the single issue of teen pregnancy and beyond the borders of our state.
What do we do?
- We promote easy access to reproductive healthcare, from counseling to contraceptives.
- We train and educate people who work with young adults so they can provide medically accurate information about birth control and safer sex.
- We partner with a variety of organizations - public, private, school, and community-based - to promote policies and initiatives that improve reproductive health outcomes throughout the state.
- We conduct research and analyze data to improve teen pregnancy and STI prevention programs.
- We create simple, powerful, actionable reports that can be used to advocate for state and local policies that promote better reproductive health.
- We advocate for HPV vaccination.
- We provide nearly $1 million in annual funding to South Carolina organizations that support the implementation of evidence-based reproductive health education, because we believe that local communities are in the best position to identify what resources they need.
Preventing Teen Pregnancy
Providing Technical Assistance
Programs benefit from our on-site, personalized technical assistance. Staff in four regions of the state respond to phone, email and personal inquiries from prevention programs as needed. Technical assistance efforts also reach previously unreached populations of service providers including teen clinic staff, foster care caseworkers, higher education professionals, and community service organizations.
Distributing Publications and Resources
Fact Forward uses the latest data and research to drive its work, encourage local programs to use science-based approaches and support them through personalized evaluation plans. County-specific information about teen births and STIs are available for free upon request for every county in South Carolina...contact us if you want to know more about what's happening at the county level!
We are committed to sharing up-to-date information with our partners via:
- Fact sheets, publications, and research briefs
- Curriculum (materials available for loan or purchase)
Training Health Care Providers
In 2014, as part of our strategy to increase access and quality of reproductive health services for young people, we created the following two initiatives:
Educating Teens & Parents
Intensive public awareness efforts are key to successful teen pregnancy prevention. In addition to media opportunities throughout the year resulting in millions of media impressions in South Carolina and beyond, dedicated activities include:
- Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (May)
- National Adolescent Health Month™ (October)
- Information for teens and parents
Regular communication with members of the South Carolina House and Senate keep them abreast of teen pregnancy and related issues. During the legislative session, staff can be found at the State House serving as advocates for our state’s most valuable resource – young people.
We embed evaluation into our projects to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of the target population and being good stewards of funds to prevent teen pregnancy. Through quantitative and qualitative evaluation, we use data to inform and improve our programmatic efforts.
Through partnerships with outside institutions and gathering collective knowledge internally, Fact Forward contributes to the field of teen pregnancy prevention by conducting original research and sharing data with external researchers. Recent research publications include:
Partnering with SC Communities
Targeting our Efforts — Aiken, Anderson, and Orangeburg Counties
From 2015–2020, Fact Forward and local partner agencies will replicate evidence-based programs in three high-need counties: Aiken, Anderson, and Orangeburg through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health. This grant allows our staff and local partners to work in middle schools, high schools, teen-friendly clinics, and community-based organizations serving high risk youth. Local partners include: Helping Hands in Aiken, United Way of Anderson County, and OCAB Community Action Agency in Orangeburg.
Reaching High Risk Youth
In July 2015, Fact Forward began efforts to build the capacity of organizations who work with youth in out-of-home care (i.e. foster care) and youth under the supervision of the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice with funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health. At the end of this five-year project, Fact Forward expects at least 16 youth-serving organizations from across South Carolina to be implementing evidence-based HIV/STD and teen pregnancy prevention program services to highly vulnerable youth.
Mobilizing Communities – Horry and Spartanburg Counties
From 2010–2014, Fact Forward conducted a five-year project in Horry and Spartanburg counties with the goal of reducing teen pregnancy rates by 10% in each community. With funding from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, both counties far exceeded that goal with declines of 25% in Horry and 37% in Spartanburg. Other project highlights include:
- 30 community-based organizations served 9,376 youth with an evidence-based intervention
- 8,990 youth received a reliable form of contraception (15% received an IUD or implant)
- Adolescent caseloads increased by 41% with 23,359 youth seen at a partner clinic for reproductive health care services.