Best practices

At the Annex, we take our work very seriously. Read about the best practices that we undertake to ensure we provide the best services to the young adults that visit us every day.

Also, read staff member Ellen Saliares’ research paper published in the Journal of Sex Research regarding adolescents’ thoughts and experiences with respect to sexual pleasure and communicating with their partners!

A comprehensive, fact-based approach

Effective Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) begins with parents and caregivers as the primary sexuality educators of their children.

  • CSE is the provision of accurate, factual and developmentally appropriate information around human sexuality topics.
  • CSE recognizes sexuality as a positive, healthy part of life and teaches behavior that is respectful, responsible, non-exploitative and nonviolent.
  • CSE respects individuality and a wide range of community norms, cultures, cultural beliefs, and language regarding human sexuality.
  • CSE is designed to encourage and support young people in developing their identities.
  • CSE recognizes the importance of communities, institutions and individuals working in partnership with families to raise sexually healthy children.

Parents as primary sexuality eductors

Providing resources and education to empower parents and caregivers to serve as sexuality educators for their children. Young people who are strongly “connected” to their parents are more likely to postpone intercourse, have fewer sexual partners, and use contraception consistently.

Connectedness is considered family or parental closeness, warmth, support or responsiveness. In studies, young people who reported feeling a lack of parental warmth, love or caring were also more likely to report emotional distress, lower self-esteem, school problems, drug use, and sexual risk behaviors. The Annex Teen Clinic provides several parent/child educational programs around sexual health and puberty, including: Celebration of Change, Beyond the Celebration, and Celebration of Change for African American Females.

Culturally relevant services

The Annex Teen Clinic involves community members in the creation and improvement of our services in an effort to meet the unique needs of diverse communities. Community participation also fosters a sense of ownership that, in turn, enhances sustainability.

Collaborating with faith communities

The Annex Teen Clinic collaborates with faith communities to provide fact-based sexual health information with the unique values and norms of individual faith communities around sexual health education. Faith communities can play an important role in helping members to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.

A youth development framework

Youth development programs are based on the idea that strong bonds with schools, families and support systems protect young people from risky behaviors. Young people have a set of underlying needs -beyond biology- that, if met, will increase the possibility they will grow into caring, competent adults.

Measurable outcomes

The Annex Teen Clinic utilizes the most current research and evaluation tools to assess individual knowledge, attitude, skills and confidence with regard to program goal setting, program planning, program evaluation, and improving and sustaining programs.

Access to Confidential Health Care Services

In Minnesota, a minor’s right to access confidential sexuality-related health care is guaranteed by Minnesota Statute 144.341-347. Confidential access to information and services can help to reduce risky behaviors, particularly behaviors that can lead to pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Research shows that adolescents may not access health services without the guarantee of confidentiality. The minors’ consent law does not ignore the value of parent-child communication. In fact, health care professionals help adolescents reconnect and communicate better with parents and adults