Plain Talk | Hablando Claro

A Neighborhood-Based Strategy for Improving Adolescent Reproductive Health


Plain Talk is a four-year, neighborhood-based demonstration program developed by The Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of its broader strategy to improve child, youth and family outcomes. With this initiative, community residents partnered with neighborhood organizations and institutions to address underlying factors endemic to entrenched poverty such as teen pregnancy. Implemented in five cities: Atlanta, Hartford, New Orleans, San Diego and Seattle, the initiative was designed to reduce teen pregnancy, STDs and HIV/AIDS by mobilizing parents and other supportive adults to deliver clear, consistent and accurate messages about adolescent sexuality.

What is Plain Talk?

Plain Talk is an innovative approach for reducing teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and STDs by engaging parents and supportive adults to build their levels of comfort, skills and ability to communicate frankly with teens. The approach only works when adults are willing and ready to accept responsibility for youth behaviors. Good communication, supportive relationships with adults, and community cohesion all form the foundation for Plain Talk. Sometimes the notion of an adult-focused teen pregnancy strategy is difficult to grasp so it’s easiest to start by understanding what Plain Talk is not:

  • Plain Talk is not a curriculum.
  • It’s not about adding a new staff person to an old program.
  • It’s not just about teens.
  • It’s not just about females.
  • It’s not a simple solution. Parents work with friends, neighbors and institutional partners to build consensus about what young people need and deserve in their communities to reduce teen pregnancy, STDs and HIV/AIDS.

To find out about the results of Plain Talk, a final evaluation report Plain Talk: Addressing Adolescent Sexuality Through a Community Initiative (PDF) is available for results and more information.

For information on implementing Plain Talk, as well as additional resources, please see: Replication of Plaintalk.

Questions? Contact Camille Thomas, Plain Talk Coordinator at 612-238-2392 or [email protected].

Hablando Claro on St. Paul’s West Side

Hablando Claro, was presented to Neighborhood House as a way to gain community involvement in curbing early adolescent pregnancies in the Latino community. Hablando Claro addresses the social context of adolescent lives and provides a community-based approach to address this issue. The program engages Latino teens, adults, parents, community leaders and community agencies to develop the skills and tools to communicate consistent healthy messages to teens regarding sexuality and risk-reducing behaviors.

Currently, there are teens and adults trained to reach community residents with messages of reproductive health and family involvement. They are engaged in Home Health Parties in which community residents come together to learn about and discuss adolescent pregnancy and disease prevention.

Current Hablando Claro Needs

Plain Talk is a national model promoted by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, however, each replication site is unique and meets the needs of their respective community. In order to promote Hablando Claro to Minnesota professionals, decision-makers and west side residents, the program needs a clear, inviting, and representative logo. The ideal process to create this logo will involve the Hablando Claro teens and adults driven by the artistic leadership of a marketing/design professional.

Hablando Claro Contacts

The Annie E. Casey Foundation: Plain Talk