Sex educators at schools have the advantage of having children as captive listeners and the students already know and trust them. The educators have also some authority and the parents trust them more. However, children may not like to share all their concerns and questions with their educators and the educators might not be comfortable or competent in delivering sexual health messages, as they might come from a variety of non-relevant backgrounds. The outreach workers, on the other hand are mostly from a youth work background so they often are good in communicating with young people and gaining their trust. They are mostly young and enthusiastic, and often have had personal experiences of this kind. Their challenge is that they might not feel competent about their knowledge and handling troubled kids might become very difficult. Also, the staff turn over is relatively high and most of the outreach workers look at their jobs as a bridge to other careers.
This presentation will focus on the essential educator skills based on the literature, expert views and the findings of a qualitative study conducted by the presenter. The competencies will be categorized into core competencies and helpful-to-have skills and a hypothetical curriculum for sex educators training and development will be proposed.