Supporting Young Parents
Adolescent parenting is associated with maternal and infant health problems, poverty, lack of education, inadequate family support, and increased risk for domestic violence and child abuse and neglect. Benefits of social support services for young parents include improved knowledge about parenting, enhanced parent-child relationships, increased economic self-sufficiency, and reduction in family violence.
Effective programs to support pregnant or parenting teens are customized to the parent's developmental level, target health care and child development needs, and connect teens to a comprehensive array of services. Programs should also promote intergenerational relationships by involving extended family members. The following resources address ways to support young parents, including State and local examples.
Provides information, strategies, tools, and resources for youth, families, schools, and community organizations on a variety of crosscutting topics that affect youth. The program directory features evidence-based programs, including teen parenthood and pregnancy prevention programs.
Healthy Teen Network
Provides information on adolescent health and well-being and offers research and assistance to local, State, and regional organizations serving youth. Main areas of focus include teen pregnancy prevention, teen pregnancy, and teen parenting.
Bricks, Mortar, and Community: The Foundations of Supportive Housing for Pregnant and Parenting Teens: Findings From the Field (PDF - 1,034 KB)
Desiderio, Max, Scott, Ikramullah, Barry, & Manlove (2010)
Healthy Teen Network & Child Trends
Identifies a set of core components for supportive housing programs using the results from quantitative and qualitative surveys as well as information gathered during a national advisory group of partners in the fields of housing, child welfare, transitional living, and pregnant/parenting teen programs.
Developing a Trauma-Informed Approach to Serving Young Homeless Families (PDF - 172 KB)
Strengthening At-Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children (2012)
Discusses a trauma-informed approach to serving young homeless families and the multiple challenges faced, including partnering across service systems, providing comprehensive training for staff, creating safe and supportive service environments, conducting thorough assessments, and providing trauma-specific services for all members of the family, including children.
Strengthening At-Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children: Evaluation Report Year 1: 2007-2008 (PDF - 669 KB)
Strengthening At-Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children (2009)
Provides a brief overview of the Strengthening At-Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children initiative, including the needs and characteristics of the population it serves, descriptions of the four program sites, a summary of the evaluation's goals and procedures, and cross-site findings from the first year of program implementation.
Teen Parents...You're Not Alone! (PDF - 228 KB)
Children's Bureau, Child Welfare Information Gateway, FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, & Center for the Study of Social Policyâ€”Strengthening Families (2012)
In Strengthening Families and Communities: 2011 Resource Guide
Discusses the feelings and experiences of teen parents and offers advice on what they can do to find help when they need it. Also available in Spanish. (PDF - 228 KB).
"You Gotta Start Thinking Like a Parent": Hopes, Dreams, and Concerns of Ethnic Minority Adolescent Parents
Dornig, Koniak-Griffin, Lesser, González-Figueroa, Castaneda Luna, Anderson et al.
Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 90(1), 2009
Explores the parenting experiences of young, ethnic minority (primarily Latino) parents-participants in an HIV-prevention intervention—and how they may inform the parents' individual health practices and behaviors. The article discusses implications, with a focus on integrating the concept of parental protectiveness into a strengths-based perspective.
State and Local Examples
The Four Rs of Service Delivery for MFIP Teen Parents: Approaches of Eight Minnesota Counties: Rules, Routes, Relationships, and Resources (PDF - 1,352 KB)
Minnesota Department of Human Services, Transition to Economic Stability Division (2012)
Presents the results of an environmental scan based on a policy and practice framework developed for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The purpose of the study is to understand the characteristics of service delivery models for caregivers under the age of 20 in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) in 8 of Minnesota's 87 counties.
Is My Baby Safe?: Straight Talk to Teen Parents on Child Abuse and Neglect (PDF - 273 KB)
Public Counsel Law Center (2012)
Provides information for teen parents on what could cause them to harm their child. The brochure includes a definition of child abuse and neglect, mandated reporters, and the investigation procedure for Los Angeles County, California.
Teen Parenting Service Network
Uhlich Children's Advantage Network
Offers information on a program serving pregnant and parenting teens in out-of-home care in Illinois. The program provides services such as clinical therapy, educational mentoring, family support services, and case management and referral.
Young Parents Program
Boston Children's Hospital
Describes a special clinic serving teen parents from low-income and at-risk environments. The clinic offers access to medical care, parenting education, housing and education support, and social programs to connect with peers.