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Teen Pregnancy Quick Guide

OVERVIEW:
The Teen Pregnancy Quick Guide is for parents under the age of 21 who may be struggling to come to terms with their pregnancy. They may need supportive resources to help them with the pregnancy that frequently include services for mental and emotional health.  Parenting as a teen comes with unique challenges and these parents often need more support to overcome challenges than adult parents. They may also need resources for adoption if they are feeling unsure in their ability to parent.

GOAL:
The goal of the Teen Pregnancy Quick Guide is to assist teen parents in finding the resources needed to help them on the path of self-sustainability. The secondary goal is to prevent second pregnancies during the teenage years by linking teenage parents with the supportive services they need to continue their education and pursue their life goals.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Teenage pregnancy not only affects the lives of the teens, but also their entire families. Parents of pregnant or parenting teens may be struggling with the pregnancy and may be unsure how to help their child. Pregnant and Parenting teens have increased chances of staying in school and increased health outcomes when they receive support from their families. For more information on how to support your pregnant or parenting teen see When your teen is having a baby document.
  • Teen Parents, who are attending school and living in an approved living situation, may qualify for a cash grant through DSHS Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or (TANF). For more information on the qualifications see TANF and Teen Pregnancy  document, also available in Spanish.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Only about 50% of teenage mothers complete high school and earn their diploma, and teenage fathers have a 25-30% lower probability of graduating high school. Since one’s education can directly relate to one’s earning ability it is a big concern that teen parents are not finishing High School. These rates do increase when school supports are in place to assist teen parents stay in school. Contact the school to find out more information about what supports are in place to assist teenage parents complete their education.

Parents who continued school after giving birth were less likely to have a repeated pregnancy during their teenage years. Additionally, mothers who were engaged in a supportive program that addressed goals and strategies for reaching their goals had a decreased chance of becoming pregnant in their teenage years.

TAKE ACTION:
For resources on supportive services for pregnant and parenting teens see the Teen Pregnancy Resource Tool.