Celebrating Gains, Redoubling Efforts To Address Pregnancy and Parenting Among Youth in Foster Care

Posted May 27, 2016
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog celebratinggainsredoublingefforts 2016

Dur­ing the past five years, more than 25 states have start­ed work­ing to stem the rate of teen preg­nan­cies among young peo­ple in fos­ter care. This month — which marks Teen Preg­nan­cy Pre­ven­tion Month and Nation­al Fos­ter Care Month — pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty to rec­og­nize steady progress and redou­ble the effort to build on and sus­tain the move­ment. Recent gains include:

  • The nation­al teen preg­nan­cy rate has declined 55% since 1990
  • Rate reduc­tions are wide­spread, across states as well as racial and eth­nic groups
  • Momen­tum is accel­er­at­ing — the teen birth rate has declined 29% since 2010.

Nation­al­ly, about 75 sites are pro­vid­ing evi­dence-based teen preg­nan­cy pre­ven­tion pro­grams for youth in fos­ter care. Many are shar­ing strate­gies for effec­tive ways to serve this pop­u­la­tion. In Octo­ber 2015, more than 100 child wel­fare and teen preg­nan­cy pre­ven­tion pro­fes­sion­als met to com­pare notes and learn from each oth­er. The recent­ly pub­lished Call to Action offers key insights from this meet­ing and iden­ti­fies what is need­ed to con­tin­ue address­ing this challenge.

Key fun­ders, includ­ing the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion and the Hilton Foun­da­tion, have worked with such groups as The Nation­al Cam­paign to Pre­vent Teen and Unplanned Preg­nan­cy, the John Bur­ton Foun­da­tion, the Cen­ter for the Study of Social Pol­i­cy and the Amer­i­can Pub­lic Human Ser­vices Asso­ci­a­tion to sup­port child wel­fare agen­cies inte­grat­ing strate­gies to address unplanned preg­nan­cy among youth in care and sup­port expec­tant and par­ent­ing youth.

Col­lec­tive­ly, these steps are crit­i­cal­ly impor­tant to help sus­tain progress reduc­ing unplanned preg­nan­cies among young peo­ple in fos­ter care as well as with oth­er vul­ner­a­ble youth pop­u­la­tions, such as youth involved with the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem, run­away and home­less youth.

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