Episode 54: Supporting Parenting and Expectant Teens in Foster Care

Date: January 2020

Length: 41:46 

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Transcript:   cwig_podcast_transcript_episode_54.pdf   [PDF, 157 KB]

"Young parents want the same thing every parent wants for their children. I think somehow we forget that because we view them as a youth in care rather than a parent."
 —Jeannette Pai-Espinosa, President, National Crittenton

In the crush of child welfare, State and local agencies may struggle with providing appropriate and holistic services to older youth in care who are parents or expecting the arrival of a newborn. The challenges can range from accounting for the number of parenting and expecting teens to applying—and funding—services that support their needs as youth and as parents.

The recent Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) reshapes how parenting and expectant teens in foster care are served and supported by child welfare systems in two ways:

  • Including this group as a categorically eligible population for prevention services as outlined in the bill
  • Creating an opportunity for States to continue to receive reimbursement when parenting and expectant teens and their child are placed in a program targeted at meeting their needs as both an adolescent and parent

This episode features a conversation to help States and agencies leverage the provisions of FFPSA to support parenting and expectant teens in foster care. The discussion included two individuals who aided in drafting the FFPSA provisions focused on this group:

Topics discussed include the following:

  • Two-fold impact supporting pregnant and expecting teens can provide
  • Provisions developed of the Family First Prevention Services Act focused on supporting these teens and the process behind them
  • Assessments for the strengths and capabilities in working with parenting and expecting teens States and jurisdictions currently have
  • Stigmas caseworkers and foster parents should avoid


Connecting the Dots: A Resource Guide for Meeting the Needs of Expectant and Parenting Youth, Their Children, and Their Families