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Teenage pregnancy policy in England

By Roger Ingham


This article provides an account of the development and early stages of the implementation of the teenage pregnancy policy introduced in England in 1999 (Social Exclusion Unit). The historical background of the policy is briefly outlined, followed by summaries of the processes involved, some of the key data that were drawn upon in its development, the content of the policy, evaluation data, critiques, and concluding comments. <br/>The policy is shown to have been based within a wider framework of attempts to reduce the number of young people who were thought to become socially excluded from society as a result of early childbearing. Emphasis in the policy was placed on both improved prevention of early conceptions through comprehensive sex and relationships education, improved services, and more open communication between parents and children and through improved support for those women who choose to have children in their teenage years

Topics: HQ, BF, HM
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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  1. Advice for the over-16s claiming benefit (personal advisors to discuss options for education and training)
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  4. care leavers, and other children in need (new guidance for staff working in these areas)
  5. Child support (ensure that nonresident young fathers contribute financially to their children’s costs)
  6. Clearer guidance for all health professionals on contraception for under-16s
  7. communication (co-fund a national media campaign to reinforce messages) Better education about sex and relationships in schools
  8. Develop new guidance on sex education in schools (new national guidance, support for local policies, encourage parental involvement)
  9. Establish clear goals (halve rates of under-18 conceptions, achieve a reduction in the risk of longterm social exclusion for teenage parents and their children)
  10. Ethnic minority groups (local coordinators to work with local communities to develop better information on patterns and more appropriate initiatives) Supporting teenage parents
  11. Extending same principle to private rented sector through housing benefit (develop benefit system to enable semi-independent supervised housing) Appendix
  12. Get young people to seek advice (national publicity campaign) Boys and young men
  13. Getting back into education—16- and 17-year-olds (education maintenance allowances to enable continued education)
  14. Getting back into education—under-16s (under-16 mothers will be required to continue their education)
  15. Health Service criteria for effective and responsible youth contraception and advice services (accessibility, well publicized, effective, open to all, responsible)
  16. Help parents to talk to their children about sex and relationships (national campaign, using parents as peer educators) Effective advice and contraception for young people
  17. Help with child care for 16- and 17-year-olds returning to education (subsidized child care places for this group)
  18. Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy (set up group of wide range of views to advise Government)
  19. Inspection (school inspections will cover SRE policies) Involving parents in prevention
  20. Link sex education to a broader framework of personal education
  21. Local implementation (each local authority to identify a coordinator who will work to develop local programmes)
  22. Monitor progress (develop benchmarks for monitoring progress and commission evaluation)
  23. National coordination (cross-departmental ministerial task force and unit in Department of Health)
  24. Plus—personal support for pregnant teenagers and teenage parents under 18 years (coordinated support for the groups involving pregnancy advisors and new tailored support packages) Housing for under-18 lone parents
  25. Publicity (ensure that young men are more aware of responsibilities about contraception and young parenthood)
  26. Social housing; supervised semi-independent housing with support for under-18 lone parents (all unsupported under-18 mothers to be offered supervised housing)
  27. Support coordinators (national and regional support for coordinators)
  28. support for pregnant under-18s (personal advice on services available for all women in this group)
  29. Teacher training and accreditation in SRE (review content of all initial teacher training and develop specialist training)
  30. Young offenders (each young offenders institution to offer sexual health and parenting classes)

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