The Coalition awarded six mini-grants to Northeast Florida agencies to implement specific strategies outlined in the NEFL Teen Pregnancy Task Force community action plan to reduce teen pregnancy and births in the region. Grants begin July 1 and address engaging parents, repeat teen pregnancies, improving access to adolescent health care and community-based teen pregnancy prevention.
This is the second year of the mini-grant program, which is funded by the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation and Florida Blue. Nine agencies were funded in the 2013-2014 cycle.
The grant recipients are:
- APEL Health Services – $16,495 – “YouthLink Juvenile Justice Initiative,” Community-based teen pregnancy prevention (also addresses incarcerated youth, male responsibility and reducing STIs/HIV)
- Florida Department of Health—Baker County – $8,505 – “Parent and Teen Perspectives in Baker County” Engaging Parents
- The Bridge of Northeast Florida – $15,000 – Healthy Choices,” Community-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention
- Florida Department of Health—Clay County – $15,000 – “Teen Health Center” Community-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention (also addresses improving access to adolescent health care, reducing STDs and HIV/AIDS, engaging parents and addressing male responsibility)
- Florida Department of Health—Nassau County – $16,000 – “Teen Power Nassau” Engaging Parents (also addresses community-based teen pregnancy prevention, repeat teen pregnancies)
- Stork’s Nest of Jacksonville – $9,000 – “Stork’s Nest Program,” Repeat Teen Pregnancies
The grant program also funds the Health Begins Before Birth program through Lutheran Social Services of Jacksonville’s Nourishment Network. The program provides case management, nutrition counseling, food and supplies to low-income women pregnant women, including teens, in Jacksonville.
Despite declines in the teen birth rate over the last 20 years, teen pregnancy still remains a problem. Teens in the region give birth at a higher rate than those statewide and nationwide. 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.