Adolescent Health: Wisconsin Programs

Improving the Health of Wisconsin Youth

The Wisconsin Adolescent Health Program has several ongoing programs that promote healthy youth across Wisconsin. It is made up of several federally funded grants that promote healthy youth across Wisconsin.

Group of multi-ethnic friends in the park

Our Programs

Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)

Wisconsin State PREP is federally funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. PREP funds agencies to educate young people with the goal of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. PREP uses high-quality evidence-based programs that acknowledge the uniqueness of adolescents’ experience, while preparing them with necessary knowledge and skills to transition to adulthood. The goals of the program including, the adulthood preparations subjects of positive adolescent development, healthy relationships and healthy life skills, continue to address the needs of thousands of Wisconsin’s most vulnerable youth.

The program serves high-school age youth, prioritizing marginalized youth, specifically: youth of color, youth who are homeless, in foster care, live in rural areas or in geographic areas with high teen birth rates. Implementation sites are awarded through competitive process and include non-profit agencies and local health departments in the southeast and northern regions of the state.

Project WISE—Wisconsin Initiative for Student Empowerment

Project WISE is federally funded by the Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) grant, administered by the Family and Youth Services Bureau within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of SRAE is to fund the implementation of education on sexual risk avoidance that teaches participants to voluntarily refrain from sexual activity. Education must be medically accurate, complete, and age-appropriate, and use an evidence-based, positive youth development approach.

Wisconsin long-term goals include:

  • Reduce teen pregnancy rates and sexually transmitted infections in funded communities.
  • Increase healthy behaviors among youth in funded communities as demonstrated by lowered rates of alcohol and other drug use, lowered rates of sexual risk behavior, and increased healthy relationships.
  • Increase the high school graduation rate in funded communities.

Project WISE sites implement the Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®). TOP promotes the positive development of adolescents through curriculum-guided, interactive group discussions; positive adult guidance and support; and community service learning. TOP is focused on key topics related to adolescent health and development, including building social, emotional, and life skills; developing a positive sense of self; and connecting with others.

The program serves youth in sixth through eighth grade, especially those who are homeless, in foster care, live in rural or geographic areas with high teen birth rates, or come from racial or ethnic minority groups. Students are served primarily in after-school settings. In Wisconsin, Project WISE is implemented by organizations in Adams, Racine, Menominee and Milwaukee counties in areas where the middle school population has at least 40% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. Sites are awarded through a competitive process.

Sexual Violence Prevention Program

The Sexual Violence Prevention Program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) grant. The focus of the program is to decrease rates of sexual violence perpetration and victimization. This program aims to work with diverse communities to increase health and safety by addressing the root causes of sexual violence through the implementation of primary prevention strategies, taking into consideration the individual, their relationships, and the range of factors that put people at risk for violence or protect them from it.

For more information, please see the Sexual Violence Prevention page.

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Title V Block Grant - National Performance Measure: Annual Preventive Visit Ages 12-17

Too few adolescents ages 12 through 17 have an annual preventive medical visit. In Wisconsin, 74.6% of adolescents receive an annual well-visit (2017; NSCH). The Title V Program supports Providers and Teens Communicating for Health (PATCH), a teen-delivered program that targets barriers that interfere with the ability of health care providers and teens to communicate effectively with one another about sensitive health topics. PATCH Toolkits for parents and teens are publicly available to enhance the reach of the programming. In addition, the Adolescent Champion Model is implemented to advance adolescent-centered health care through practice improvement, education, and youth and community engagement. Five clinics with a reported combined reach of over 5,500 adolescents in 2017 completed the 18-month quality improvement process in 2019, and all received certification as Adolescent Champions.

Last Revised: June 10, 2021