Adolescent Parent Programs

Model Programs

  • Adolescent Parent ProgramsCAL-SAFE Program is a comprehensive, integrated, community-linked, school-based program that serves expectant and parenting students and their children. The Cal-SAFE Program is designed to improve the educational experience, increase the availability of support services for enrolled students, and provide child care and development services for their children. Over 75 percent of the students left the Cal-SAFE Program having successfully completed their high school education. Less than 3 percent of the students were expecting another child when they enrolled or exited the program. The vast majority of children born while their parents were enrolled in the Cal-SAFE Program were healthy. Over 75 percent of the children of Cal-SAFE students attended a child care center sponsored by the Cal-SAFE Program and received programming and services based on their assessed developmental needs. 94% of the children enrolled in child care sponsored by the Cal-SAFE Program were up-to-date on their immunization schedules.
  • Early Head Start (EHS) is a federally funded community-based program for low-income pregnant women and families with infants and toddlers up to age 3. Its mission is to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women, enhance the development of children age 0-3, and support healthy family functioning. EHS programs utilize multiple strategies to provide a wide range of services to participants. Services include child development services delivered in home visits, child care, comprehensive health and mental health services, parenting education, nutrition education, health care and referrals, and family support.
  • Early Intervention Program for Adolescent Mothers The Early Intervention Program (EIP) for Adolescent Mothers is designed to improve the health of pregnant adolescents through promoting positive maternal behaviors. EIP is an intense public health nursing program that includes classes on preparing for motherhood, and home visits by specially trained nurses. Classes and home visits cover issues such as health, sexuality, family planning, life skills, maternal role and social support. A study of EIP found that the program reduced premature births and resulted in fewer days of infant hospitalization in the first 6 weeks following birth.
  • Health Care Program for First-Time Adolescent Mothers and their Infants The goals of this program for disadvantaged adolescent mothers are to prevent second pregnancies, maintain attendance at a clinic so that infants have up to date immunizations, have adolescent mothers resume schooling and reduce the use of emergency room for routine infant care. The program randomly assigned adolescent mothers 17 years of age or younger to an intervention or control group. The program provides routine care for mothers as well as additional special care. Mothers in the experimental group were less likely to have a repeat pregnancy, and their infants were more likely to be fully immunized. There was no impact on return to school. Clinic drop out was high, but was lower for those in the treatment than in the control group. Use of emergency rooms was somewhat lower; but the difference was not significant.
  • Healthy Families New York (HFNY) is a home visitation program for mothers who are at risk for developing abusive or neglectful behaviors toward their children. The goals of HFNY are to promote positive parenting, prevent child abuse and/or neglect, support prenatal care and child health and development and improve parental self-sufficiency. An experimental evaluation of HFNY found that the program was effective in reducing the amount of child abuse and neglect in the experimental group. Also, among parents in “prevention” and “psychologically vulnerable” subgroups, those parents in the experimental condition were less likely to report severe abuse and/or neglect than mothers in the control group.
  • The Incredible Years parent training intervention is a series of programs focused on strengthening parenting competencies (monitoring, positive discipline, confidence) and fostering parents’ involvement in children’s school experiences in order to promote children’s academic, social and emotional competencies and reduce conduct problems. The parenting programs are recommended by the American Psychological Association Task Force as meeting the stringent “Chambless criteria” for empirically supported mental health intervention for children with conduct problems. Programs for different age groups are available as well as coaching manuals for home visitors.
  • New Mexico GRADS is a multiple-site school and community-based program designed to facilitate parenting teens’ graduation and economic independence, promote healthy multi-generational families and reduce risk-taking behaviors. The NM GRADS program has seen the following results: 90% graduation rate, 2.3% repeat pregnancy rate, inclusion of both teen fathers and mothers programs, 33% employment rate; recruitment of 141 former drop-outs.
  • Nurse Family Partnership is an evidence-based, nurse home visiting program that improves the health, wellbeing and self-sufficiency of low-income, first-time parents and their children. There are currently four nurse family partnership agencies serving Minnesota. Read a recent Minneapolis Star Tribune article about the program.
  • Nurturing Parenting Program for Teen Parents is a 50-session home-based or 26-session group-based program. Teenage parents learn infant and child massage, developmental milestones of growth, how to have fun with their children, nurturing parenting routines and ways to help children build their self-esteem and self-concept. Teens also learn ways to delay pregnancy, handle peer pressure, sex, sexuality, and date rape, increase personal power and build their own positive feelings of self. This program was validated by 12 agencies throughout the country providing services to teen parents.
  • Parents as Teachers The overarching philosophy of Parents as Teachers (PAT) is to provide parents with child development knowledge and parenting support. Through a four-part intervention model known as the Parents as Teachers Born to Learn® model, trained and certified parent educators offer support to families from pregnancy to the time the children entered kindergarten. The goals of PAT are to increase parent knowledge of early childhood development, improve parenting practices, detect developmental delays and health issues early, prevent child abuse and neglect, and increase children’s school readiness and success. PAT program services include home visits to families; health, hearing, vision, and developmental screenings of children; parent group meetings; and a resource network that links families with needed community resources.
  • Project CHARM is an HIV risk-reduction curriculum designed for pregnant adolescents and young mothers. In an experimental study, schools housing pregnant minor/young parents’ programs were randomly assigned to implement either Project CHARM or a health-promoting control intervention. Analyses of trends over time revealed that students assigned to the Project CHARM intervention increased their AIDS knowledge and intentions to use condoms to a greater extent than did students assigned to the control intervention over the course of the study. The effect size for knowledge was fairly large (.79), though the effect size for intentions was smaller (.33). Project CHARM also had a short-term impact on students’ number of sexual partners. At the six-month follow-up, Project CHARM students reported having significantly fewer sexual partners than did control students. This was no longer the case at the 12-month follow-up. At none of the follow-ups did Project CHARM students significantly differ from control students on frequency of unprotected intercourse.
  • Promising Practices Network is a list of programs across the country that have been shown to be effective for helping young families.
  • Social Learning Parent Training is a program designed for parents who have been referred to child protective services for child abuse or neglect. The program trains parents in positive parenting techniques like appropriate reinforcement and attempts to prevent negative behaviors such as physical punishment. A randomized, experimental evaluation of the program found that the program was effective in decreasing parent perceived adjustment problems, child behavior problems and parent-reported risk for negative behaviors. Unstructured home observations indicate that the program did not have any impact on observed parenting behavior or on the adaptive abilities of children.
  • Teen Success is a Planned Parenthood program of support groups that empower teen mothers to maintain their current family size, finish school, and plan positive futures for themselves and their children.
  • Three Generations Project This program is a home visit-based strategy that seeks to improve outcomes for high-risk families of adolescent mothers. It is intended for pregnant girls aged 12-18 and consists of curricula that both teach and model healthy parenting, and encourage education, contraception and health care. Evaluations of the Three Generations Project found that mentors positively impact adolescent mothers, although mixed results were found with respect to subsequent births, parenting attitudes and school continuation rates.