NEFL Teen Pregnancy Task Force
Preventing Teen Pregnancy in Northeast Florida: A Plan for Community Action
The NEFL Teen Pregnancy Task Force culminated a year of activity with a final community plan for action. The plan was approved by the Healthy Start Coalition Board of Directors on November 17, 2011. The full plan is available here:
The Task Force Process
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. Task force membership includes Coalition volunteers; representatives from agencies and organizations that serve adolescents; adolescent health care providers; school systems; youth-serving organizations; teens and other interested organizations.
The Task Force identified key activities to conduct: assess regional and county-specific needs; identify and adapt strategies based on evidence-based programs implemented in other areas; strengthen and increase effectiveness of existing Healthy Start, school- and community-based services; and develop additional services to address identified gaps.
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Teenage mothers and their babies are consistently linked with poor health and socioeconomic outcomes. Babies born to teenage mothers are more likely to be born premature and have low birth weight. These mothers are least likely of all maternal age groups to receive prenatal care, at a higher risk for pregnancy complications, are less likely to graduate high school and more likely to live in poverty.
Nearly one out of five teenagers in Northeast Florida who has a baby will become pregnant again before leaving her teens. Additional births multiply the difficulties experienced by teen mothers. Eighteen percent of teen births in Northeast Florida in 2009 were to mothers who have had a previous pregnancy.
Teenagers ages 15 to 19 years old who gave birth represented 9.9 percent of all Northeast Florida births in 2009 but accounted for a higher proportion of poor health outcomes. In 2009, mothers ages 19 and under were more likely than their older counterparts to experience fetal and infant deaths.