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Teen Parents: Program Grants, Recommendations, and Publications Available

3/30/2001:   Although birth rates among American teens ages 15-19 are at the lowest level in the 60 years these data have been collected, far too many adolescents get pregnant each year.

Studies show that the United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy and births in the western industrialized world: 4 in 10 young women become pregnant at least once before they reach age 20— nearly 1 million a year.

Teen pregnancies have long-lasting health, education, and economic consequences for both the parents and their children. Children of teenage mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school, and are at greater risk of abuse and neglect. Friends of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) may, therefore, be interested in the following program grant announcement, recommendations for professionals who work with children, and related CWLA publications.

  • The Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs (OAPP), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will fund 15 to 20 community-based and community-supported demonstration projects to establish comprehensive and integrated approaches to the delivery of care services to pregnant adolescents, adolescent parents, their partners, children, and extended family members. Faith-based organizations are eligible to apply. Applications for the care demonstration grants under the Adolescent Family Life Demonstration Projects Program must be postmarked by April 30, 2001. For full details, see the website: http://www.hhs.gov/opa/xxgrants/01march/care/afl_care_03-2001.html. Note that funds are not currently available for primary prevention/abstinence education demonstration projects targeting non-pregnant adolescents.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released five updated recommendations for pediatricians to help in both avoiding and in managing medical, psychological, developmental, and social problems specific to adolescent parents and their children. In 1997, nearly 500,000 babies were born to young women ages 15–19 in the United States. The AAP revised policy recommends that pediatricians ensure that community resources and quality programs— including competent home visits and quality child care programs— are available to and used by adolescent parents. The risk of domestic violence should be assessed before and after pregnancy. For details, see http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/febadol.htm.

  • The Florence Crittenton Division of CWLA serves as a resource and advocate for 31 Florence Crittenton agencies in the United States, in addition to other Child Welfare League member agencies that provide adolescent pregnancy prevention and teen parenting services. Originally founded in 1883 to assist adolescent females who lived on the streets and teen mothers who lacked resources, today’s Florence Crittenton agencies build upon this tradition by participating in political advocacy, engaging in research regarding the latest trends in teen pregnancy and prevention, awarding grants to deserving agencies, and hosting a biennial conference. To find out more about this CWLA Division, see http://www.cwla.org/programs/pregprev/.

  • CWLA has published several books on adolescent pregnancy and parenting, including:

  • First Talk: A Teen Pregnancy Prevention Dialogue Among Latinos is available in both English and Spanish (Primer encuentro: Un dialogo para la prevencion del embarazo adolescente en al communidad latina). Edited by Bronwyn Mayden, Wendy Castro, and Megan Annitto, the book resulted from a national symposium sponsored by CWLA and the National Council of Latino Executives.

  • CWLA Standards of Excellence for Services for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, Pregnant Adolescents, and Young Parents

  • The One Girl in Ten: A Self Portrait of the Teenage Mother, by Sallie Foster is considered a classic on adolescent parenthood.

  • Adolescent Sexuality, Pregnancy, and Parenting: Selected Readings is a compilation of articles from CWLA’s Child Welfare journal and Children’s Voice magazine.

See http://www.cwla.org/pubs to order these or other publications online.

Content contributed by Heather Banks, Editor

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