Current estimates of teen pregnancy indicate that one out of every ten young women in the United States gives birth before they reach the age of 20. To better serve the needs of pregnant and parenting teens, the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), contracted with Child Trends to produce a report, Promising Strategies and Existing Gaps in Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Teens. This report outlines existing challenges and promising practices in supporting pregnant and parenting teens and summarizes the discussions and suggestions of national experts in the field.
Specifically, this report highlights the findings of two expert workgroups convened in January and July 2012 through the support of OAH's Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF), which provides competitive grants to state and tribal organizations that support pregnant and parenting teens and their families. The experts (including physicians, university faculty, medical directors, psychologists, researchers, Federal staff, and directors of programs and organizations serving pregnant and parenting teens) were charged with the sizeable task of summarizing the state of the field. Simply stated, they were asked to describe "what works" when it comes to serving pregnant and parenting teens and to identify the gaps and challenges that persist in the field as well as opportunities to support this vulnerable population.
The report summarizes:
- Promising practices in reaching, engaging and retaining pregnant and parenting teens,
- Effective program components when working with pregnant and parenting teens,
- Concrete examples for implementing those core components.
Pregnant and parenting teens are not a "one-size-fits-all" population, but by highlighting practical approaches to serving pregnant and parenting teens that are relevant to practitioners, researchers and evaluators, providers, and policy-makers, alike, this report serves as an important resource for all stakeholders in the field of teen pregnancy and teen pregnancy prevention.