Parents, schools and communities all have a role to play in preventing teen pregnancy — and now there is a plan for action to address gaps in services and the state of youth development and sex education in the region.
The Northeast Florida Teen Pregnancy Task Force completed a community plan that was the culmination of a year of gathering data, reviewing programs and developing strategies and potential partners. The Healthy Start Coalition Board of Directors officially approved the plan at their November 17 meeting.
The Task Force focused on developing implementation strategies and potential partners around particular areas that emerged from focus groups with teens and careful research:
- Engaging Parents
- Adolescent Health Services
- Community-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention
- Public Policy
- Repeat Teen Pregnancies
Priority strategies were identified by the Task Force, and include some projects that are already in place or for which funding has been secure — like the Coalition’s 4Me/Teen Health Project, Nurse Family Partnership and parent listening tours through the UNF US Group grant. Partner agencies are also implementing some of the strategies: The Duval County Health Department has a peer education program.
The Task Force was created in October 2010 to address the high rate of teenage pregnancy and births in Northeast Florida and determine effective methods of prevention, particularly around repeat teen births
Teens in the region continue to give birth at a higher rate than the state. They also account for a higher proportion of poor birth outcomes, including infant deaths, low birth weight babies, pre-term births and fetal deaths.