Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.
There are a number of current federal efforts available to support expectant and parenting young families. The following reviews the currently available programming and approaches offered through federal agencies:
The Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) Program, administered by the Office of Adolescent Health, has the aim of improving the health, educational, social, and economic outcomes of expectant and parenting teens, women, fathers, and their families. Since 2010, OAH has administered competitive grants to 27 states and four tribal entities to develop and implement programs using a holistic and integrated approach to serve expectant and parenting young families.
The Department of Education provides funding to states to disperse the funds to the expectant and parenting young family population, including Race to the Top. Additionally, the Department of Education also administers the Perkins Career and Technical Education Program and acts as a lead agency for the Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth, both of which serve expectant and parenting young families in select cities.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOIA), a youth employment program (PDF, 3 pages) available through the Division of Youth Services in the Department of Labor, provides employment support to in-school youth ages 14 to 24 and out-of-school youth ages 16 to 24.
Home Visiting Programs
The Maternal and Child Health Bureau in the Health Resources and Services Administration provides home visiting programs and referrals to community resources that directly benefit expectant and parenting young families.
The Family and Youth Services Bureau provides Maternity Group Homes for homeless pregnant and parenting youth ages 16 to 22. This programming also offers educational services on parenting skills, child development, family budgeting, and health and nutrition.
Intimate Partner Violence/Teen Dating Violence
The Family and Youth Services Bureau provides educational resources and awareness on intimate partner violence and teen dating violence. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program helps provide support for emergency shelter and related assistance for victims of domestic violence and their children through a number of different programs.
The Second Chance Act program – Strengthening Relationships between Young Fathers, Young Mothers, and Their Children – from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provides funding to support the successful transition for young fathers and mothers as they return to their families and communities from detention, out-of-home placement, or incarceration.
The Supplemental Food Programs Division in the Department of Agriculture provides nutrition education and breastfeeding support to mothers and fathers, including expectant and parenting young families.
Launching Programs to Support Expectant and Parenting Youth (PDF, 56 pages)
This report from the PAF Program includes how grantees developed a strategic approach, programs to address complex needs, a structure to support success, and conclusions from early program implementation.
Meeting the Needs of Pregnant and Parenting Teens: Local Health Department Programs and Services (PDF, 20 pages)
This resource from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) describes local programs from across the U.S. that serve expectant and parenting young families, challenges faced by these types of programs, and recommendations.
OAH's Pregnancy Assistance Fund: Supporting Young Parents and Their Children
This video describes how the work of PAF grantees support expectant and parenting youth in caring for children, building healthier relationships, and achieving their goals.
PAF Successful Strategies by State
Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) Program grantees are changing the lives of pregnant and parenting young families around the nation. The profiles provided on this webpage portray these ground-level change agents and demonstrate the important work they are doing.
Sustaining Programs for Expectant and Parenting Teens (PDF, 12 pages)
This brief from OAH provides information on key lessons on sustainability that were learned from a set of grantees funded through the PAF Program.
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