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Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Because our Center began as a program to address the particular needs of adolescent parents, this population remains highest priority for us even as the scope of our work has expanded.   Our experience tells us - and the young people themselves whom we have served through the years have told us – that every teen pregnancy is a premature one.    For the young people doing a good job as parents, it is heart-breaking to see an adolescent setting aside her own education and her own needs to focus on those of her child.  For those teens unable to meet the challenges of parenting too young, two generations suffer.  Therefore, we remain committed to investing what resources we can spare into preventing teen pregnancies in this community.  The following are some of our teen pregnancy prevention strategies:

  • Free pregnancy tests to young, poor women with options counseling
    1. If the test is positive and the young woman chooses to continue with the pregnancy, she is connected with prenatal care, health insurance, WIC and enrolled in the Healthy Babies, Kids & Families Program so that on-going supports are available if she is willing to accept them
    2. If the test is negative, at a minimum the young woman receives birth control counseling and follow-up.  If she lacks health insurance or a primary care physician we help her to make those connections, providing transportation if needed.  If she is young, we work with her around communicating with her parents or someone in her natural support system, if possible, to help deter her from another pregnancy “scare”.  If no one is available, we stay connected to make sure she continues to access birth control and other health services.
  • On-going home visiting support to adolescents at high risk of an unwanted pregnancy.  An adolescent is considered at-risk if she (or he) has had one or more negative pregnancy tests, if (s)he is the sibling or household member of a teen parent, if (s)he is engaging in risky sexual behaviors as identified by family or school officials.  Referrals come from schools, physician’s offices, counselors, social service providers, family members or by self-referral.
  • Free condoms and counseling on safe sex   Condoms and information are made available to teens both on-site at the Parent/Child Center in a place accessible confidentially and at local high schools.
  • Attention to the reproductive health of young parents to avoid unwanted second pregnancies.    Staff continues to track when appointments are due to keep birth control in place and assists the family in follow through.
  • Services to young fathers and fathers-to-be.  Frequently the mother and father have discontinued their relationship long before the birth of their child.  The father-to-be needs information and preparation to prepare for his coming role.  Fathers, who are active in their child’s life and understand the gravity of parenting, are less likely to become fathers repeatedly with different women.
  • Individual crisis counseling for parents of teens and parent support groups when families are interested
  • Workshops for parents on “Talking to your child about issues of sexuality and health”.
  • Teen parent panels for local high school classes