Updating the Balanced Counseling Strategy (BCS)+ Toolkit

Developed by the Population Council, the BCS+ toolkit is an interactive, client-friendly approach to improve family planning counseling as well as the prevention, detection, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

The BCS+ was adapted from the Balanced Counseling Strategy, an evidence-based tool that improves contraceptive method counseling by addressing a variety of topics relevant to family planning including STIs, postpartum maternal and newborn care, and cervical cancer screening.

The BCS+ includes a range of components that support the needs of providers and trainers during use of the tool, as well as clients. It comprises a Trainer’s Guide, a User’s Guide, and three job aids: an Algorithm, Counseling Cards, and Method Brochures.

The Balanced Counseling Strategy (BCS) is an interactive, client-friendly counseling strategy that uses three key job aids to guide comprehensive and high-quality family planning counseling to clients.The Evidence Project is working with JHPIEGO to update the BCS+ Toolkit to reflect the wider availability of new methods (e.g. Sayana Press), to align with the issuance by WHO of updated medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use, and to address the family planning, post-abortion counseling needs of clients. The Evidence Project and JHPIEGO will draw on feedback from partners in different country contexts in revising the toolkit, which will be translated into French, Spanish, and Arabic. This will facilitate the scale up of client-centered, evidence-informed counseling strategies.