The Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs (OAPP) is a leader in the field of adolescent sexual health and well-being, providing valued and respected service for youth and families all over the country. The OAPP is a government office located within the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH).The OASH is located directly in the Office of the Secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The OAPP has administered Adolescent Family Life (AFL) grant funds for the past 29 years. The AFL program was enacted as a demonstration program to develop, implement and test innovative approaches to promote adolescent premarital abstinence and to provide services to pregnant and parenting adolescents, their infants and their families.
What Types of Grants Does the OAPP Offer?
The OAPP supports innovative demonstration projects throughout the United States. Grantees are charged with demonstrating effective approaches that address the issues related to pregnant and parenting adolescents and their families. The inclusion of the research authority and the requirement that all demonstration projects be independently evaluated allows for the demonstration nature of the program. Demonstration grants are awarded for up to five years.
AFL grants allow projects to be innovative in their services to youth and families in the arena of adolescent sexual health and well-being. Projects are encouraged to develop and test new approaches based on solid theory and supportive evidence.
- Care: Comprehensive services for pregnant and parenting adolescents as well as services for teen fathers/male partners, infants, parents and extended family members.
- Research: Projects that focus on a range of topics related to adolescent sexual health and well-being with results that contribute to the field.
What Makes the OAPP Unique?
The OAPP is unique in its service to the field of adolescent health and well-being and to individual grantees. The AFL program has leveraged its unique features to build a record of accomplishment. Implementing demonstration grants, as opposed to service grants, allows for a great deal of flexibility and innovation in program design and evaluation. Over the years, AFL grantees have indeed developed numerous program models, as well as curricula and educational materials. In addition to offering unique grant opportunities to a variety of agencies throughout the country, the OAPP offers ongoing support and assistance to each of its grantees.
- Accessibility: Each AFL project is assigned an OAPP Project Officer. Project Officers are knowledgeable in the fields of adolescent sexual health, social work, public health, grants management, evaluation, and Federal legislation. Project Officers are able to provide individualized assistance and feedback to help further AFL projects. The OAPP is an office which believes accessibility, open communication and individualized attention cultivate great demonstration projects.
- Annual Conferences: Every year, the OAPP sponsors annual conferences for all Project Directors and Evaluators. These conferences highlight the latest research and knowledge in the field, offer opportunities for grantees to present to one another, and provide updates on important grant related information.
- Targeted Technical Assistance: Multiple technical assistance trainings are offered each year for front-line staff. These trainings are conducted by well-respected facilitators in fields related to adolescent sexual health, adolescent well-being and program evaluation.
- Independent Evaluation: Each grantee is required by the AFL grant to conduct an independent evaluation of their five year demonstration project. Findings from AFL research and evaluation can be directly applied to improve and strengthen AFL demonstration projects, as well as contribute to the evidence base on adolescent interventions for the field in general. Because of its commitment to quality evaluation, the OAPP is building the capacity to conduct a meaningful cross-site evaluation of projects throughout the country. The OAPP is committed to quality evaluation.
- Evaluation Assistance: The OAPP offers evaluation technical assistance through one-on-one guidance, workshops, trainings, and evaluation-specific conferences to help further the field of adolescent pregnancy-related evaluation. Because the OAPP Project Officers work closely with grantees, there is an understanding of the specific evaluation needs of the project. Evaluation assistance is targeted to those needs throughout the life of the five year project.
- Continuity of services: As a comprehensive program that implements a combination of care, prevention, and research projects related to adolescent pregnancy, there is a continuity of services within one Program Office. The AFL program is able to share resources and evaluative information among different types of projects and provide a network between prevention and service programs for pregnant and parenting teens. The OAPP utilizes two grantee listservs to provide information to grantees and to provide a forum for sharing information.