April 15, 2014
Fathers and Families gives an assist to teen parents
A release from Children's Trust of South Carolina:
Four South Carolina Communities to Develop New Approach to Support Pregnant and Parenting Teens
Community Collaborations to Address High S.C. Teen Birth Rates
COLUMBIA, SC - (April 3, 2014) - Children's Trust of South Carolina and the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy announce four communities that will receive funding to support pregnant and parenting teens. Each community will take a collaborative approach to encourage pregnant and parenting teens to complete their education, delay the next pregnancy, improve parenting skills, and become better connected to supportive resources.
Although the teen birth rate in SC has declined by 47% over the last two decades, much work remains as the state still ranks 11th highest in the nation with more than 5,500 young women becoming mothers each year. In addition, more than one quarter of those teen births in South Carolina are repeat.
Sue Williams, chief executive officer of Children's Trust, says, "When we support parenting teenagers to continue their education and improve their parenting skills, we reduce the risk for child abuse and neglect in that family."
The four communities were selected through a competitive process, based on the greatest needs and ability to successfully implement the collaborative model.
Forrest Alton, chief executive officer of the SC Campaign, says, "These sites were chosen based on a high need, ability to collaborate with local partners, and produce results." Alton adds, "Working with pregnant and parenting teens is an important shift of focus for us as we strive to improve the health and economic well being of individuals, communities and the state of South Carolina."
The four community lead agencies include:
Darlington First Steps (Darlington County) focuses on family strengthening and providing high quality services designed to support families and their young children in reaching their full potential. It provides educational to health to childcare to parenting services, with the goal to strengthen families and increase the probability of success for both parents and children.
Joseph F. Sullivan Center (Oconee County) is one of the longest continually operating nurse-managed health centers in the country. It supports the grant mission of community service, education, and research for Clemson University. Serving the community in four upstate counties through offsite, and mobile operations, the center supports academic instruction to build future professionals with skills and experience to work in collaboration to solve the health problems of South Carolinas most vulnerable populations.
Mary Black Foundation (Spartanburg County) focuses on investing in people and communities for improved health, wellness, and success. The foundation is an independent grant making organization with staff and tools in place to manage funds and implement programs. It has a history of bringing the community together to work for a common goal.
The United Way of the Midlands (Richland County) works to determine and respond to the critical human service needs of the community. It develops partnerships with nonprofits, businesses, community leaders and individuals to educate them of the conditions in the areas they serve. United Way works to provide the programs and resources through its partner agencies to improve the quality of life in the Midlands counties.
As part of the project, a new website for teens, pregnant teens and parents of teens is available at NotRightNowSC.org. The interactive, mobile-friendly site features resources about love, sex, and relationships and will encourage teens and their parents to engage in conversations with one another on these topics.
Funding for this effort comes through the Pregnancy Assistance Fund at the Office of Adolescent Health at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Children's Trust will serve as the lead agency and the SC Campaign will administer and execute the Community Support for Young Parents program. The Benefit Bank/S.C. Thrive and the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families will help provide training and technical assistance and provide service links across the state. The S.C. Rural Health Research Center's Division of Maternal and Child Health, located in the Department of Health Services Policy Management in the Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, will carry out the evaluation aspects of the grant.