This lack of parent-adolescent bond, as well as the lack of information provided to these teens, makes teenagers in foster care more prone to engage in riskier sexual behaviors; almost 20% of youth in foster care reported first having consensual sex before the age of 13, compared to 8% in the general population. Example: Yes, I would like to receive emails from National Center for Health Research. Â Birth rates are highest for Hispanic teenagers (4.6%) and Black teenagers (4.4%). Childrenâs Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Child Maltreatment 2009, 2010, , accessed Apr. Â Additionally, inÂ a study published in 2015 which evaluated the program, Â thereÂ were statistically significant improvements in the percentage of youth who received information about sexual health including, access to birth control, talking to a partner about sex and birth control, saying no to sex, methods of birth control, and sexually transmitted infections.. Girls aged 13 to 17 in foster care are nearly five times as likely as their peers to become pregnant, according to an April report by the nonprofit Texans Care for Children. In September 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would give $155 million in grants to states, non-profit organizations, school districts, universities, and other groups for the implementation of evidence-based teen pregnancy interventions. National and State Patterns of Teen Births in the United States, 1940-2013. Child Welfare, 79(3), Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ635691&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ635691. The National Center for Health Research reports that, âTeenage girls in the foster care system are twice as likely to get pregnant before turning 19 than teenage girls who are not in foster care.â But itâs clear the pregnancy rate among Texan girls who are in that stateâs foster care system is extreme. State child welfare agencies will interview teens on or around their 17th birthday, and again at ages 19 and 21, about a range of issues they may faceâfrom educational attainment to experience with homelessness to access to health insurance. Whether they enter foster care already pregnantâmany are kicked out of their homesâor conceive while they are in the system, teenage mothers in foster care face distinct challenges. Moving from one foster home to another prevents girls from getting the sexual health information they need; a girl may develop a trusting relationship with an adult and potential role model, but then have to move again. The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, enacted in 1999, recognized the need for continuing support past age 18 by encouraging states to provide a range of social servicesâsuch as vocational training, job placement and financial management skillsâto youth aging out of foster care up to age 21. "6 Moreover, researchers point to evidence showing that teenagers who feel highly connected to their parentsâteenagers who report that their parents are warm, caring and supportiveâare far more likely than others to use contraception and to delay sexual activity, and are less likely to become pregnant.10 Youth in foster care, of course, often lack these kinds of protective relationships. 3. 14. It is also a critical first step toward understanding how pregnancy and childbearing are intertwined with such profoundly difficult issues as the absence of a dependable family or social network, homelessness and educational deficits. Childrenâs Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Guidance on Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, 2010, , accessed Apr. That may be about to change: The two largest federal teen pregnancy prevention initiatives are supporting several programs focused on reducing risky sexual behaviors among youth in foster care and will be evaluating these interventions. Although many child welfare agencies have programs that address the special needs of foster youth who are pregnant or parenting, comparatively little has been done to help foster youth avoid pregnancy. Constantine WL et al., Sex Education and Reproductive Health Needs of Foster and Transitioning Youth in Three California Counties, Oakland: Center for Research on Adolescent Health and Development, Public Health Institute, 2009. An important first step would be for child welfare agencies to implement a comprehensive pregnancy prevention strategy. 5; Taking Action to Eliminate Disparities and Address Social Determinants of Teen Pregnancy. Allen K, Medicaid managed care for children in child welfare, Issue Brief, Hamilton, NJ: Center for Health Care Strategies, 2008, , accessed Apr. Foster youths are approximately five times more likely to get pregnant compared with all youths. "We can provide youth in care with all the contraception in the world, but pregnancy rates among this population will remain exceptionally high unless the factors that motivate so many of these adolescents to become pregnant are addressed. 20. Will you help us fight back with facts? 11. After multiple studies, researchers have indicated that teenagers in the foster care system are more likely to become pregnant than teens in the general public. ACYF guidance stipulates that this plan "must include an outline of a schedule for initial and follow-up health screenings (inclusive of age-appropriate sexual health screenings for youth). 14, 2011. Created by the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, the National Youth in Transition Database is designed to track youth as they transition from the foster care system to independent living.  Â The Guttmacher Institute speculates that the circumstances that led them to be placed in foster care in the first place, along with the experience of being in foster care, make this group especially vulnerable to teen pregnancy. In short, although child welfare agencies may be better poised to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of foster youth than ever before, the budget process is moving in the other direction. , teenage pregnancies among youth in foster care have reached epidemic levels. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr63_04.pdf, 4. To claim federal reimbursement for children and youth in foster care, states must meet certain requirements, many of which have to do with efforts to ensure the health and safety of children and with moving children from foster care into safe and permanent homes as quickly as possible. Teen pregnancy and parenting is only one of the indicators of poor foster care outcomes. That reflects a national downward trend, but letâs take a look at a specific group: teens in the foster care system. The program is designed to reduce the incidence of repeat early pregnancies, increase young parentsâ sense of self-worth, improve their health and that of their babies, and help teens complete high school and enter the workforce. Courtney ME et al., Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth: Outcomes at Ages 23 and 24, working paper, Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, 2010. Faulkner: Foster care and Texas teen pregnancy. Pregnancy among women in this population is nearly double national averages, with one-third becoming pregnant by age 17 and nearly half of those experiencing repeat pregnancies by age 19. "Alternative strategies may be needed for youth in other settings," says Amy Dworsky, a senior researcher at the University of Chicago's Chapin Hall and coinvestigator for the Midwest study. It is administered by the Office of Adolescent Health within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. Most teen parents are not married. have close family connections. But many feel unprepared to talk with foster youth and parents about sex, relationships and prevention, and frequent staff turnover is an ongoing challenge. ( PREP ), Retrieved from http: //www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp? _nfpb=true & _ & ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ635691 & ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no accno=EJ635691! 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