Support a Broad Teen Pregnancy Prevention Approach
What Can Policymakers Do?
- Inform and support parents of teens. Teens consistently report that their parents most influence their decisions about sex. Overall closeness between parents and their children, shared activities, parental presence in the home, and parental caring and concern are all associated with a reduced risk of early sex and teen pregnancy. Michigan’s Talk Early & Talk Often program supports parents of middle school children to encourage communication about abstinence and sexuality. Utah piloted a Spanish language version of the evidence-based Parents Matter program for parents of 9-12 year olds. The Annie E. Casey Foundation supported the development and replication of the Plain Talk/Hablando Claro program in several sites throughout the country.
- Fund proven teen pregnancy prevention interventions. There is growing evidence that number of interventions can delay sexual activity, improve contraceptive use among sexually active teens, and/or prevent teen pregnancy. Because of the significant variety among these interventions, communities have leeway to find programs that suit local values, opportunities, and budgets.
- Focus interventions on teens in foster care. Teen girls in foster care are at 2.5 times greater risk of pregnancy by age 19 than those not in foster care. And approximately 50 percent of 21-year-old men aging out of foster care report they had gotten someone pregnant compared to 19 percent of their peers who were not in the system. It is estimated that teen childbearing cost the child welfare system at least $2.3 billion nationally in 2004 alone. 
 By the Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing – What Policymakers Can Do, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. (Washington, DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy).
 Suellentrop, K (2010). What Works 2010: Curriculum-Based Programs That Help Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy: Washington, DC.
 Science Says. #27 Issue Brief: Foster Care Youth, National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Number 27, August 2006.