Expectant & Parenting Youth In Foster Care
Improving Services and Supports to Young Parents and their Children
Adolescent parents face multiple obstacles balancing their own transition to adulthood with raising a child. For young people in the foster care system and those who have recently “aged out” of care, the challenges are great and the resources available to help are frequently scarce.
CSSP is partnering with four jurisdictions to examine policies and practices localities currently have in place to support youth and their young children. Throughout this two-year initiative, sites will collect data and build a range of approaches for effectively serving this population. The ultimate goal of these partnerships is to develop and disseminate policy and program recommendations to guide the child welfare field in addressing the complex needs of these young families and improving outcomes for pregnant and parenting youth and their children.
A review of the research, combined with interviews with dozens of practitioners, advocates and researchers has led to the conclusion that strategies for serving this population must be:
- Multi-generational – focusing on the needs of the young parent, her/his child and her/his family
- Trauma-informed – understanding and addressing the impact of the young person’s history (e.g. - experiences with loss and separation, to promote healthy recovery and well-being)
- Developmentally appropriate – having policies and practices that address the developmental needs of the young child and young parent
CSSP has formed the Pregnant and Parenting Youth in Foster Care National Peer Network to explore the feasibility of the recommendations from Pregnant and Parenting Youth in Foster Care: A Guide to Service Improvements. The group will identify additional strategies for serving this population, share lessons learned and sharpen a final list of program and policy recommendations for the field.
Network members include:
- Knox County, TN
- New York City, NY
- Washington, DC
- Washington State
As the work moves forward, the network will share updates on strategies, challenges and results of their efforts to address the special needs of pregnant and parenting youth and their children.
This guide includes information on effective programs, curricula and other resources, highlighting the result(s) that each seeks to impact to address the needs of young families.
Policy recommendations to support expectant and parenting youth in foster care and their children
CSSP has launched a series of issue briefs intended to ask questions, share information and dig deeper into key issues affecting pregnant and parenting foster youth and their children.