Reproductive Empowerment Project (REP)
Bringing Education & Contraception to Maine Organizations
In recent years, Maine has experienced a growing need for services that address the needs of women struggling with opioid addiction. Maine Family Planning has an outreach program called the Reproductive Empowerment Project (REP).
Through the Reproductive Empowerment Project, our team of outreach educators partner with organizations already working with women experiencing substance-use disorder and other life situations that may make accessing contraception challenging. These organizations include domestic violence programs, harm-reduction associations, and substance abuse treatment centers. The REP outreach educator collaborates with the organization’s staff to develop educational presentations on reproductive health, including contraceptive methods, harm reduction strategies, and STI/HIV prevention. The outreach educator provides confidential, on-site, one-on-one consultations with clients at these organizations.
At the end of every consultation, the client can opt to be connected with a Maine Family Planning Nurse Practitioner via a secure, HIPPA-compliant video platform. During this conversation, the nurse practitioner provides contraceptive counseling that can lead to a prescription for, and immediate provision of, an oral or injectable birth control method. This method will be provided by the outreach educator and, if a specific contraceptive is not immediately available, the outreach educator will arrange to mail it to the client. The outreach educator provides optional risk assessments, STI/HIV testing, and pregnancy testing.
Contraceptive Methods Consultation
The outreach educator presents contraceptive methods that are available to clients. By engaging clients in a discussion about contraception use, clients are able to make educated decisions about their preferred method(s).
Communication about sexual health behaviors allows the client to assess what level of risk they are for STIs, HIV or pregnancy. This assessment helps them evaluate their behavioral choices and explore ways to reduce harm.
If a client discloses behaviors that may have placed them at risk for STIs, they can ask to be screened for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and/or HIV.
Pregnancy Testing & Options Counseling
If the client believes they might be pregnant, they may ask the outreach educator to provide a pregnancy test. If the test results are positive, the educator can facilitate a comprehensive pregnancy options consultation.
What type of organizations do you partner with?
The REP program was designed to support people struggling with opioid dependency. With that said, organizations that we collaborate with include, but are not limited to:
- Domestic violence programs
- Harm-reduction associations
- Gender-specific intensive outpatient programs
- Substance abuse treatment programs
- Needle exchange programs
- Pre-release programs
What are the requirements for partnering with REP?
In order to partner with REP, you will need the following:
- Private room with a desk or table, two chairs and a door
- Access to a restroom
- Signed Memorandum of Understanding
What level of support do you need from our organization?
Aside from the requirements listed above, our educators require minimal support from your staff. All we ask is that any changes in scheduling or client attendance be communicated with our educators in a timely manner.
Where in Maine do your outreach educators travel?
Our educators travel to all counties in the state of Maine. We will work with your organization in advance to establish a recurring consultation schedule.
If you are interested in learning about incorporating REP into your organization or know of another organization that might be a good fit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (207) 218-5015.