Lecture Highlights Decline in Teen Pregnancy; Not the Case for Foster Youth

As part of Child Trends’ Kristin Anderson Moore Annual Lecture Series, a December 2015 event featured speakers who discussed the field’s increased reliance on data, and subsequent federal investment in programs proven to be effective in reducing teen pregnancy. As shared in a four-minute clip, compared to children born to older women, children born to teenage girls are more likely to drop out of high school, rely on Medicaid, be teen parents themselves, be raised in single-parent families, to experience abuse and neglect, to enter the foster care system, and to grow up in poverty.

The lecture highlights the vast decline in teen pregnancy in the United States, a figure that has dropped almost every year since 1991, a total of 60%. While this figure drops both in California and nationally, teen pregnancy among youth in foster care remains alarmingly high: a 2014 study found that 26 percent of 17 year-olds in foster care had been pregnant at least once, a rate that is over ten times higher than that for non-foster youth, aged 15-19 in California.

The County Welfare Directors Association of California and the John Burton Advocates for Youth are requesting funding from the California State Legislature to establish an opt-in program for counties willing to establish policies and procedures and adopt proven strategies to prevent unplanned pregnancy among foster youth and to protect their reproductive rights. For more information about the budget proposal, download the fact sheet. To add your organization’s name to a support letter going to the Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees in April, e-mail simone@johnburtonfoundation.org.