The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), funded under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, is a key element of the federal strategy to reduce teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). PREP provides grants to states, tribes, and tribal communities to replicate, or substantially incorporate elements of, programs that have been shown to be effective at delaying sexual initiation, reducing pregnancy, and increasing contraceptive use among sexually active youth. The selected programs must educate youth on both abstinence and contraception. Another aspect of the PREP program is that grantees must incorporate lessons on at least three of the following adulthood preparation subjects: adolescent development, healthy relationships, healthy life skills, parent-child communications, educational and career success, and financial literacy.
Upon authorizing the PREP program, Congress required that it be evaluated. The evaluation will help the federal government, states, tribes and tribal communities, and local service providers learn more about program design, implementation, and outcomes. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has contracted with Mathematica Policy Research to document and assess this large-scale replication effort. The evaluation will study PREP programs nationwide, collecting data from all grantees, and will also conduct an in-depth examination of a few selected PREP sites.