Teenwise Minnesota supports programs and services that keep adolescent mothers and fathers enrolled in school. Adolescent parents who stay in school have much lower rates of repeat pregnancy and improved health and academic outcomes as compared to adolescent parents who are not in school. 10
A study from the Minnesota Department of Human Services reports that 56% of families on welfare in Minnesota had their first children as teens. 11 The keys to achieving self-sufficiency for young parents and positive health for their children include school completion, parenting skill development, health care, living wage job skills, and access to safe and affordable housing. Programs that are effective provide alternative or enhanced education opportunities that reach adolescent parents early and keep them connected to school. 10 Best practices that support adolescent parents include offering flexible school attendance policies and coordinated support services, including prenatal care, transportation, childcare, and parenting education. 10
Teenwise Minnesota’s Vision
State funding is provided to ensure adolescent parent programs and coordinated support services in all school districts. Adolescent parents are provided with coordinated programs that offer flexible attendance policies, transportation, child care, prenatal care, and parenting education. State funding is also provided to adolescent parents for child care assistance.
Legislative and Policy Agenda
Teenwise Minnesota will advocate for increased funding and state level coordination of funding and technical assistance for adolescent parent providers in education, social service, and health.