Expectant, pregnant, and parenting youth often face challenges balancing their school, work, and home lives with being a new parent. Young parents in foster care are at increased risk for dropping out of school, unemployment, poverty, mental health issues, and child care concerns. Ensuring that adolescent parents receive adequate social, emotional, medical, and academic support is essential to the parent's and the baby’s future. Child welfare caseworkers and others working with pregnant and parenting youth should provide guidance that is strength-based, consistent, and unbiased while presenting options for services and supports. On this page, find guidance on working with expectant and parenting youth in out-of-home care and ways to support them and their families.
Addressing the Needs of Pregnant and Parenting Youth in Foster Care: A Primer on Interagency Collaboration for Children’s Bureau Grantees
Capacity Building Center for States (2019)
Explains the services offered to pregnant and parenting youth in out-of-home care by the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood and the Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting Program. This tip sheet provides strategies for using both programs together to improve outcomes for pregnant and parenting youth in out-of-home care.
Challenges, Benefits Found in Providing Home Visiting Services for Pregnant and Parenting Foster Youth
Chapin Hall (2021)
Presents the results of a study that shows adolescent parents in foster care needing additional support, and one way to provide this support is through community-based home visiting programs. Outcomes from these interventions show positive effects in the areas of parent-child attachment, child and maternal health and development, parenting skills, and social support.
Connecting the Dots: A Resource Guide for Meeting the Needs of Expectant and Parenting Youth, Their Children, and Their Families
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2019)
Offers information on interventions and services for expectant and parenting youth involved with the child welfare system to help improve parent and child well-being outcomes.
Expectant and Parenting Youth in Foster Care: Systems Leaders Data Tool Kit
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2019)
Explains how child welfare leaders can better support expectant, pregnant, and parenting youth in foster care and offers recommendations for improving policies around working with this population.
Family First Prevention Services Act: Pregnant & Parenting Youth FAQs
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2018)
Provides answers to frequently asked questions related to the Family First Prevention Services Act and the law’s impact on pregnant and parenting youth in foster care.
Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Nemours Children’s Health (2017)
Presents information on prenatal care, what to expect during a pregnancy, things to avoid, and how to have a healthy pregnancy overall.
Leveraging the Family First Prevention Services Act for Older Youth: Prevention Provisions
American Bar Association (2019)
Explains provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act that will impact older youth, including the use of title IV-E funds to provide services to youth in foster care who are pregnant or parenting.
Promising Practices That Support Pregnant and Parenting Youth [Webinar]
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
Reviews promising practices in services for expectant, pregnant, and parenting youth involved with child welfare and discusses evidence-based programs along with home visiting services.
Support and Resources for Expectant and Parenting Young People in Foster Care
Family Voices United (2021)
Shares responses from youth with foster care experience about supports needed for expectant and parenting youth in care or transitioning out of care. Mental health, peer connections, access to resources, support networks, and more are discussed.
What Are Some Strategies for Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Teens in Foster Care?
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Examines challenges faced by child welfare agencies that are working with pregnant and parenting teens in foster care and discusses effective programs for this population that aim to ensure the healthy development of the teen parent and the child.
WIC PreScreening Tool: Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Presents a tool that caseworkers and others working with pregnant and parenting youth in foster care can use to assess whether youth are eligible to receive WIC benefits. Most young people may not be aware of this resource, so this is something an adult should help with. The tool takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.