Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3.5 Million to 7 Agencies To Support Expectant & Parenting Teens

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In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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BOSTON — The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) in collaboration with the Department of Transitional Assistance today announced a total of $3.5 million, to 7 community-based agencies serving expectant and parenting adolescents in communities across the Commonwealth with high teen birth rates.

The Massachusetts Pregnant and Parenting Teen Initiative builds on participants’ strengths to increase life opportunities and enhance family stability for expectant and parenting adolescents ages 14 through 24. 

Programs offer case management that supports both young parents and their children to attain educational and employment goals, improve access to health services, support the development of young children, and promote healthy relationships between co-parents and between parents and their young children.

Among adolescents who have participated in the program for at least 6 months:

  • 58% made progress toward individualized academic and/or career goals
  • Employment increased from 26% to 37%
  • 98% were enrolled in health insurance
  • 71% who were pregnant attended a postpartum visit in the first 8 weeks after birth
  • Contraceptive use increased from 37% to 50%

All the funded organizations are in communities with teen birth rates that are higher than the state average, with funding specifically intended to support expectant and parenting adolescents in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created significant strain on adolescent parents in terms of employment, food security, and education. 

Award recipients:

  • Brockton Neighborhood Health Center (Brockton)
  • CARE Center (Holyoke and Springfield)
  • Community Teamwork Inc. (Lowell)
  • Family Services of the Merrimack Valley (Lawrence and Methuen)
  • LUK Crisis Center (Fitchburg)
  • Meeting Street (New Bedford)
  • Roca (Chelsea, Everett, and Revere)

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