Youth Catalytics grant rescission short-sighted

The recent abrupt rescission by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of $2.25 million in grant funds to develop evidence-based and effective pregnancy prevention programs for youth is alarming. (Charlotte nonprofit loses $2.25 million in federal budget cut, Aug. 3)

Charlotte-based Youth Catalytics and its collaborators excel in using scientific findings to develop cutting-edge intervention strategies that can be used nationally to address a huge social problem.

I work as an advocate for both children and parents involved in family court, and see firsthand the frequently tragic consequences of children having children. It is critical that those of us who work with youth be adequately trained to support them holistically, with interventions that are meaningful and lasting.

Through its efforts to gather, analyze, and utilize research, Youth Catalytics is a whetstone that keeps our tools critically sharp. Science, not opinion, should drive best practices when tackling complex issues such as teen pregnancy. Loss of this grant will have a ripple effect on vulnerable youth nationally and in Vermont. Not least, the targeted nature of this rescission seems particularly dangerous.

Susan Hong, guardian ad litem Chittenden Superior Court Family Support Services, Addison and Chittenden counties Charlotte

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