Action Steps for Preventing Teen Pregnancy and Supporting Teen Parents
TEENS’ VOICES SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN DECISION-MAKING AND PLANNING. POLICY MAKERS AND PROVIDERS SHOULD WORK WITH TEENS TO INCLUDE THEIR VIEWS AND IDEAS.
Research-based comprehensive sex education curriculum should be implemented in every New York City middle school and high school. It should include sexual and reproductive health, healthy relationships, abstinence, contraception, HIV/AIDS, other STDs, and sexual violence. It should also discuss sexuality as a normal and healthy part of life.
Sex education groups should be widely available to pre-teens and teens in foster care.
Schools should collaborate with community agencies that can mentor and nurture students and promote skill building.
Teens should have access to confidential reproductive health services, including on-site contraception, through school and community based health centers.
Teens should be taught life skills including parenting skills. Classroom work may be reinforced by community volunteer placements and job placements.
Teens who become pregnant should have a planning conference as early as possible in their pregnancy. It should include all options: abortion, adoption, parenting.
When a teen chooses to raise her baby, the prenatal center should provide holistic teen-friendly and family-focused services, including social services and mentoring on parenting as well as a comprehensive discharge plan that includes both a referral to a health care facility specializing in teen moms and the Nurse-Family Partnership, Healthy Families NY or other home visitation program. Optimally the teen should join a teen-parenting group.
Teens in foster care should reside with their infants from birth to ensure a healthy attachment.
Teen mothers should receive medical and social service care for both them and their babies at the same location. The father of the baby should be engaged and encouraged to attend appointments. Providers should assist teens with long-term planning of their education, career, and job placement.
Pregnant teens should be referred to the Department of Education to develop an educational plan to continue high school and to arrange for childcare.
ALL SERVICES SHOULD BE CONFIDENTIAL, TEEN SENSITIVE, WITHOUT ANY FINANCIAL BARRIERS, PROVIDED BY TRAINED, NON-JUDGEMENTAL STAFF AND PROVIDED IN A WELCOMING FACILITY.