Adolescent parenting has been associated with increases in maternal and infant health risks, poverty, inadequate family support, and greater risk for domestic violence and child abuse and neglect. Building resilience and social connections among young parents is vital and can be done by offering support services to enhance parent education, parent-child relationships, economic self-sufficiency, and family violence prevention.
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 parents in out-of-home care.
Healthy Teen Network
Promotes a national community where all teens and young adults, including those who are pregnant or parenting, are supported and empowered to thrive. The organization provides capacity-building services to youth-serving organizations to help improve the health and well-being of young people.
Policy Report: Opening Doors for Young Parents (PDF - 640 KB)
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2018)
Focuses on opportunities to invest in ensuring young parents find pathways to success, including targeting the most vulnerable young families and promoting opportunities for education and careers.
The Strengths Perspective: Providing Opportunities for Teen Parents and Their Families to Succeed (PDF - 544 KB)
Journal of Family Strengths, 15(1)
Examines teenage pregnancy and parenting from a strengths-based perspective. This article provides recommendations for social work clinicians and school social workers about strengths-based interventions.
Discusses teen parenting, including how to prepare teens for parenthood, the importance of involving young fathers, and more.
Evidence-Based Programs for Young Parents in Foster Care [Webinar]
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2017)
Presents a webinar that explores approaches to engage young people who have experienced foster care on the topic of preventing unintended or untimely pregnancies.
Expectant & Parenting Youth in Foster Care: Transforming Systems to Change Standards of Care
Center for the Study of Social Policy
Explains how child welfare professionals can work to build multigenerational strategies that meet the needs of young parents in foster care and describes the tools, policies, and practices used.
Supporting Teen Mothers in Foster Care
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2019)
Provides information on supporting teen parents in foster care and reviews best approaches for congregate care as well as effective interventions and services.
What Are Some Strategies for Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Teens in Foster Care?
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Explores challenges faced by child welfare professionals when providing services to pregnant and parenting teens in foster care and how to best provide effective services to this population. The webpage reviews key components of effective programs and lists examples of programs that work.