2001 Legislative Agenda
Adolescent pregnancy is a complex issue requiring prevention and intervention strategies at all stages of a childs and adolescents life. In order to address adolescent pregnancy prevention, pregnancy care and parenting in a comprehensive manner, Minnesota policies should support collaborative initiatives that effectively promote personal responsibility, ensure academic completion, and lead to long-term self-sufficiency.Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy:
Minnesota policies and programs must target resources and services to communities and populations with highest rates of teen pregnancy. MOAPPP will advocate for and monitor the following:
- Adolescent pregnancy prevention strategies that are comprehensive, research-based and culturally responsive;
- The Minnesota Statewide Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Parenting Action Plan to provide coordinated, inter-agency implementation of initiatives to prevent adolescent pregnancy and increase support for adolescent parents;
- Family planning funding to meet the reproductive health needs of low-income persons, including adolescents;
- TANF reserve funds invested in adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives;
- Comprehensive sexuality education in all school districts, with training for teachers;
- Education and support to delay fathering and promote involvement of fathers in the lives of their children (e.g.. Male Responsibility and Fathering Grants);
- Youth development program initiatives that provide opportunities for children and youth to develop life skills (e.g., after-school, mentoring, and athletic programs);
- Health care services for adolescents and young adults that are accessible, affordable, confidential, and comprehensive, including mental health services;
- Living wage jobs and family support service initiatives.
Data shows that 50% of families on welfare had their first children as teens. The keys to achieving self-sufficiency for the young parent are school completion, parenting skill development, and living wage job skills. MOAPPP will advocate to:
- Increase funding for Adolescent Parent Grants to provide school-based, community-linked education and child development services for teen parents and their children.
- Invest TANF reserve in adolescent parent support services, including home visiting and supportive living arrangements.
- Increase cross-agency coordination of services at the state, county and community levels for adolescent parents and their children to ensure:
Opportunities for completion of education and development of living wage career skills
Quality child care
Involvement of fathers
Case management services
Transportation for school and work
Comprehensive health care for parents and children
Supervised living arrangements if unable to live at home
Board approved December 6, 2000