Our Story

When the Power Through Choices (PTC) curriculum was developed in the mid-1990s, it was the only adolescent pregnancy prevention program designed with and for youth in foster care group homes. Though participant feedback was positive, no rigorous evaluation had been conducted to document its effectiveness. A decade later, youth in foster care was identified as a group at highest risk for teen pregnancy by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. From 2008-2010, the original PTC curriculum was revised and piloted by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. The revisions expanded the content, ensured medical accuracy and more closely aligned it with the current need of the child welfare system and the youth they serve.

In 2010, the Power Through Choices Demonstration and Evaluation Project was selected by the HHS Administration on Children and Families as one of their Innovative Strategies grants in the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP). The three-state research project was designed to test the efficacy of the recently updated and expanded PTC curriculum. An interim evaluation report was released in December 2014, with promising results. The final impact evaluation report documenting outcome findings was released in the fall of 2016, showing strong evidence of effectiveness. For copies of the reports, check the Research section of this website.

An independent evaluation was conducted by the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and PTC was one of seven projects selected as part of the large federal evaluation conducted by Mathematica Policy Research. Additional support for the PTC Demonstration and Evaluation project was provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Evidence-Based Practice Group.

The success of the Power Through Choices program model was built upon the initial program design and core content created in 1995 by the original developers of the curriculum: Richard P. Barth, MSW, Ph.D.; Marla Becker, M.P.H.; Helen H. Cagampang, M.P.P., Ph.D.; and Ruth C. White, M.S.W., M.P.H. Their commitment to actively engaging young people themselves in designing and shaping the program’s content remained a commitment through the revision process led by Janene Fluhr  and Shante Fenner. The commitment to ensuring the voices of youth inform the program’s implementation to ensure its relevance continues today.

SYMBOL OF EMPOWERMENT

owlThe empowerment of young people who participate in the PTC program is embodied by our logo; a powerful bird that symbolizes a spirit in nature that is associated in many cultures with strength, wisdom, knowledge, truth, courage and freedom. The open wings represent rising above to a place where things can be seen with a wider, clearer vision, then moving forward with the strength and ability to protect and be protected.

The bird’s face is shaped like a heart, symbolizing the center of our emotions that guide our choices, decisions, actions and relationships.

The color represents nature and a sense of growing, learning and becoming.

We share this symbol with all the young people who participate in Power Through Choices, with the hope this symbol reminds them that, regardless of their life experiences up to this point, they have the potential to rise above and to soar… using the power that comes from making wise choices.