Problem:There is an obvious need to advocate self-sufficiency for teen parents on welfare. However, service providers have tended to work independently rather than collaboratively to deal with the multiple problems faced by these adolescents and their families.
Purpose:The purpose of this study is to work collaboratively with key community agencies to implement a comprehensive preventive intervention designed to improve educational outcomes, parenting skills and general well-being, and to reduce substance use and repeat adolescent childbearing.
Research Question: Does the provision of a school-based comprehensive intervention for pregnant/parenting adolescents positively affect outcomes compared to a control group receiving the standard of care.
Methods:The Division of Community Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) in collaboration with four major community organizations (i.e. San Antonio Independent School District, Texas Department of Human Services, Alamo Workforce Development, INC., and Communities in Schools) will implement the proposed project. The specific target population for Project Success consists of 609 Hispanic, African-American, and White pregnant/parenting adolescents ages 14 to 17 at the time of enrollment who are eligible for or are receiving TANF benefits and who attend 8 traditional high schools in SAISD. Four of the high schools are located in Enterprise Communities. Four of the schools will be randomly assigned to the experimental group and four to the control group. Students in the experimental group will receive: 1) intensive case management; 2) a comprehensive preventive education curriculum and 3) academic and vocational counseling and preparation. The proposed intervention will involve extensive community linkages in order that the full array of services needed by parenting adolescents can be provided.
Outcomes: Valid and reliable, culturally-appropriate measures assessing substance use, educational outcomes, pregnancy status, parenting skills, and general well-being will be collected at baseline and at 6-month ,12-month, 18-month, and 2-year follow-up.
Benefits:The anticipated impact of the proposed intervention is the improvement of outcomes for adolescent parents. Documentation of the process and outcome evaluation will contribute to the knowledge regarding systems of service delivery for pregnant/parenting minority adolescents.