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Teen Parents

Teen Parents

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Teen Parents

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  1. Teen Parent Connection Teen Parents Overcoming Educational Barriers

  2. Today’s Highlights • Overview-The Scope and Issues of Teen Pregnancy • Teen Pregnancy and Education • Impact on Children of Teen Parents • Challenges of Educating Teen Moms • High School • College • System of Care Model • Prevention • Research and Resources

  3. Teen Pregnancy-the Scope • Georgia ranks 13th highest in the nation in teen births. We rank 4th highest in subsequent birth rates for teens • Girls in foster care make up the majority of those teenage pregnancies • Nationally, by age 19, 50% of girls in foster care report having been pregnant, a birth rate for foster teens of 31.6% vs. the non-foster teen birth rate of 12.2%. • Children of teen mothers are more likely to experience abuse and neglect and will eventually be placed in foster care. • Children of teen mothers are more likely to experience academic failure, early childbearing and delinquency. • Less than 40% of teen moms will complete high school and of those who do not graduate, the poverty rate is a staggering 78%.

  4. The Scope-continued • Teen mothers are less likely to marry or become self-supporting • Despite dropping teen pregnancy rates, support services are in high demand: Teen Parent Connection served 158 teen parents in care in 2013 • Children in foster care have experienced: • Astoundingly high levels of abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation and molestation • Mental disorders • Educational barriers • Lack of access to life skills developmental opportunities. • These factors coupled with the above statistics on teen parents create conditions ripe for parenting failures and the continuation of cycles of abuse, neglect, educational failures, lifelong health problems and desperate poverty

  5. Teen Pregnancy and Education • About half of teen Moms have a high school diploma as compared to 90% of women who didn’t have a teen birth • Parenthood is the leading cause of school drop out among teen girls • Less than 2% of teen mothers attain a college degree by age 30

  6. Children of Teen Mothers The issue reaches beyond the young mothers: • Children of teen mothers are more likely to drop out of school • Children of teen mothers do not perform as well as children of older mothers on measures of child development and school readiness • They are more likely to perform lower on measures of cognition, language, communication and interpersonal skills • They are more likely to repeat a grade • Less likely to complete high school • Have lower performance on standardized tests

  7. Challenges for Providing Quality Education to Parenting Students • Teen parents are invisible within the school system-oftentimes they are not identified in school records • Few school districts accurately estimate the number of teen parents who might be enrolled in a separate program • Many pregnant and parenting teens have significant educational deficiencies • Only a fraction of teen parents are served by separate stand alone programs • Teens in care experience placement disruptions resulting in multiple school changes

  8. Helping the System Work • One solution is to place teen parents in stand-alone or alternative programs • These are designed to provide the special support that teen parents need • Very often however, stand alone programs cannot offer the educational options comparable to those offered in comprehensive high schools • Title IX protects teen parents from discrimination and from automatic placement in separate programs unless those programs offer comparable educational experiences available to all students

  9. System Solutions • Systems must identify the need for specialized services for teen parents within each school in their system-this number is often underestimated • Knowing the need stimulates the placement of support services for teens in comprehensive high schools rather than placing them in stand alone alternative programs • Providing these services within the mainstream is less costly than stand alone programs that are limited in scope

  10. Expanded Services at School • On site case management • On site child care or links to nested family child care • Health services • Addressing educational deficiencies • Computerized instruction • Individual education plans • Competency based approaches • Increased access to a broader array of educational services

  11. Policy Recommendations • Attendance policies can be created that do not penalize teens who have given birth by treating absences as they do for medical conditions and allowing for home credits • Protections afforded by Title IX need to be broadly publicized and understood • School districts should have centralized responsibility for the development and implementation of policies to support the educational success of teen parents • Develop and implement alternative instruction methodology for at-risk students

  12. Policy Recommendations Con’t • Balance resources and priorities between enhanced services for teen parents within comprehensive schools and stand alone programs • Increase pregnancy prevention strategies and dropout prevention resources • Replication packages should be readily available to all schools for all at-risk students • Tailor models to students with attendance issues and other personal problems • Balance push for high school graduation with realistic assessment of options for GED completion

  13. How Can Colleges Help? • Recruit young parents-encourage college attendance • Provide as much financial aid as possible • Include help beyond books and tuition—transportation, meal passes, childcare, housing, etc. • Assist with childcare-support a childcare on campus for students or provide vouchers, assistance with CAPs • Support teen parents with support groups, help with service access and specialized classes to help balance school, work and parenting

  14. College Help • Help with housing-subsidized housing or affordable family housing on campus • Offer a variety of class options • Online classes • Hybrid classes-online + classroom • Satellite campuses • Don’t underestimate or pity teen parents • College is usually not the biggest obstacle they have faced and they are determined and focused • They need opportunity and resources • Offer specialized services for youth in care

  15. Models for Teen Parents in Care • Programs such as Teen Parent Connection provide comprehensive support for pregnant and parenting teens including: • Parenting skills development • Life skills support • Access to quality child care • Health care support • Educational support including tutoring and mentoring programs, resource identification, links to financial aid and support services • By thinking "child first", services and programs are developed and utilized in a more meaningful and effective manner

  16. System of Care Model • The old model of seeing what resources are available and then picking one that might - or might not - be a good fit for the youth and family clearly is not the best solution • The system of care approach allows for integrated, seamless service delivery for children and their families in their community, while promoting collaboration, shared decision making and accountability among partners • The system promotes collaboration, not competition to bring specialized services tailored to the unique needs of each client

  17. Outcomes from our Model • Evaluation of teens participating in Teen Parent Connection and other teen parent focused programs show an increase in: • High school graduation rates and GED attainment • Employability • Enrollment in advanced education • Child support • Reunification with their children • Stable housing

  18. Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Educational Attainment • As noted, teen pregnancy often has a negative impact on education • However, school achievement, attendance and involvement help reduce the risk of teen pregnancy • Staying in school and getting an education helps prevent teen pregnancy • Teens who have dropped out of school are more likely than their peer to get pregnant • Teens who are more involved in school are less likely than those not as engaged to get pregnant

  19. School Engagement • Important aspects of school engagement • Grades • Test scores • Class participation • Homework completion • A perception of support and connectedness with teachers and administrators • Planning to attend college after high school is also associated with a lower risk of teen pregnancy

  20. Research and Resources • Center for Assessment and Policy Development • The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy • Hoffman S.D. By the Numbers: The Public Cost of Adolescent Childbearing, Washington DC • Perper, K. Peterson, K. & Manlove J. Diploma Attachment Among Teen Mothers, Child Trends, Fact Sheet, Washington DC • Kirby, D. The Impact of Schools and School Programs upon Adolescent Sexual Behavior. The Journal of Sex Research

  21. More Resources • • Holz, J, McElroy, S & Sanders, S. Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences, Journal of Human Resources • Sadler, L. Promising Outcomes in Teen Mothers Enrolled in School-Based Parent Support Program and Child Care, Journal of School Health • Cooley, M. The Role of Family Support in Determining Developmental Outcomes in Children of Teen Mothers, Child Psychiatry and Human Development

  22. For more information Teen Parent Connection Molly Casey, Teen Parent Connection Administrator 678.467.8129 or 404.880.9323 Carisma Harper, Teen Parent Connection Program Director 770.469.6226 or 404.717.3307 Together we can help teen parents succeed and raise healthy, safe and educated children Multi-Agency Alliance for Children, Inc.