Parenting

Pregnancy Prevention

Teen pregnancy prevention is a national priority. Despite declines in teen pregnancy and birth rates in the U.S., the national teen pregnancy rate continues to be higher than the rates in other Western industrialized nations.1 Racial and ethnic disparities remain, with higher rates of teen pregnancy for Hispanic and non-Hispanic black adolescents than non-Hispanic white adolescents.2 Teen pregnancy prevention is a major public health issue because it directly affects the immediate and long-term well-being of mother, father, and child. Teen pregnancy and childbirth contribute significantly to dropout rates among high school females, increased health and foster care costs, and a wide range of developmental problems for children born to teen mothers. 3

Addressing teen pregnancy prevention requires broad efforts that involve families, service providers, schools, faith- and community-based organizations, recreation centers, policymakers, and youth. The development and implementation of evidence-based prevention efforts require an understanding of the problem including knowledge of target populations, trends in the rates of teen pregnancy and birth, and the risk and protective factors associated with teen pregnancy. This information can be used to inform decisions—such as choosing which risk and protective factors to focus on—in order to help better guide the effective implementation of evidence-based practices to prevent teen pregnancies. Currently there are a number of initiatives being implemented through the support of the federal government and other organizations to better address the issue of teen pregnancy.  

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2011; Kost & Henshaw, 2012
2 Kost & Henshaw, 2012
3 CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health, 2011

USDA and the Military: Positive Youth Development

The U.S. Department of Agriculture partners with the Department of Defense’s Office of Military Community and Family Policy and the Army, Navy, and Air Force to support military-connected children and youth, and to ensure that service members are able to focus on readiness and the mission.

Children of Incarcerated Parents

Having a parent in prison can have an impact on a child’s mental health, social behavior, and educational prospects.1 The emotional trauma that may occur and the practical difficulties of a disrupted family life can be compounded by the social stigma that children may face as a result of having a parent in prison or jail.2 Children who have an incarcerated parent may experience financial hardship that results from the loss of that parent’s income.3 Further, some incarcerated parents face termination of parental rights because their children have been in the foster care system beyond the time allowed by law4 or have questions about child support. These children require support from local, state, and federal systems to serve their needs.

Children of incarcerated parents may also face a number of other challenging circumstances. They may have experienced trauma related to their parent’s arrest or experiences leading up to it.5 Children of incarcerated parents may also be more likely to have faced other adverse childhood experiences, including witnessing violence in their communities or directly in their household or exposure to drug and alcohol abuse.6

For more information and resources on these overlapping problems, please see the additional links and resources in this youth topic:

For Parents and Caregivers

For Law Enforcement and Corrections Personnel

For School Administration and Teachers

For Child Welfare/Social Work and Clinical Professionals

1 La Vigne, Davies, & Brazzell, 2008
2 La Vigne et al., 2008
3 General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2011
4 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), 2011
5 La Vigne et al., 2008
6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2013; Phillips & Gleeson, 2007

Whatever It Takes

Whatever It Takes seeks to ensure that every child in Athens-Clarke County will graduate from a post-secondary education. We, along with our partners, will accomplish this through emphasizing early intervention, recognizing that parents are a child's first and most important teachers, focusing resources in a limited geographic area, identifying and training neighborhood leaders, setting high expectations for all children, creating a culture of success, and using data to direct to policy.

Youth-produced Media in Community Change Efforts

Drawing on a larger evaluation of the Sierra Health Foundation's REACH youth program, this issue brief examines best practices for using youth-produced media as part of a community change effort.

Youth Today

Newspaper on youth work.  

Transitions: Turning Risks into Opportunities for Student Support

This Introductory Packet provides readings and related activities on support for transitions to address barriers to student learning covering both research and best practices. It explores why transitions are dangerous opportunities that can disrupt or promote development.

Using Camp to Bolster Youth-driven Community Change

Drawing on a larger evaluation of the Sierra Health Foundation's REACH youth program, this issue brief describes how a summer camp experience can be used as a strategy to support a community change initiative.

Success for life: A call for collaborative action on behalf of Massachusetts Youth

The following report is presented by the Action Planning team as a collaborative action plan on behalf of Massachusetts youth. Developed with input, advice and ideas from more than 100 citizens from across the state as well as the resources, studies and best practices of countless youth organizations and initiatives, this call for collaborative action is responsive to the needs and challenges of individuals, communities and the Commonwealth.

Toward Making Good on All Youth

Drawing on a larger evaluation of the Sierra Health Foundation's REACH youth program, this issue brief examines ways to engage underrepresented youth populations in community youth development. A set of key principles is developed based on lessons from field research.