A special supplement of the Maternal and Child Health Journal and companion expert interviews reveal important new insights about programs for expecting and parenting teens funded through the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF). With support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs (OPA), Mathematica’s evaluation of PAF grantees has uncovered details about the effectiveness of three programs designed to delay subsequent pregnancies, improve contraception use, and encourage expecting and parenting teens to remain in school and, ultimately, graduate.
The articles in the supplement include examples of programs that use different intervention strategies to support teen parents, with programs based in high school, college, and community settings in urban and rural locations. Some of the articles provide rigorous evidence of what works to support teen parents. In addition, the articles demonstrate key lessons learned from implementation, including how to flexibly implement programs while incorporating core program components, use partnerships to meet the multifaceted needs of young parents, hire the right staff and provide extensive training, use strategies to engage and recruit teen parents, and plan for sustainability early. The supplement increases understanding of what we know about serving expecting and parenting teens and points to next steps for future research.
To highlight the release of the new journal supplement, Senior Researcher Susan Zief, who led all PAF evaluation activities, asked several experts to dig deeper into the findings. The following experts spoke with Susan:
- Amy Farb, OPA
- Mousumi Banikya-Leaseburg, OPA
- Iliana White, The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
- Lissa Pressfield, Division of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, California Department of Public Health
- Sheldon Smith, The Dovetail Project
- Matthew Stagner, Mathematica
- Jessica Harding, Mathematica