Pregnant and Parenting Teen Initiative

Best Practices

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A Resource Guide of Best Practices for Pregnant and Parenting Teen Programs



Coordination of school, community, statewide and national resources is vital to address the complex issues and needs of pregnant and parenting teens. Collaborations, referrals and coordination with available community resources promote mutual participation and provide a continuum of services while avoiding competition with or duplication of existing services and programs. When community agencies work together the ultimate result is a decreased need for financial support from the government. It is important to educate teen parents about the resources that are available to them and how they can access these services as a means to self-sufficiency, responsibility and employment.

Identifying Resources

Agencies and Organizations
In every community, there are varied agencies and professional organizations that provide programs, services, funding and expertise that can be used to enhance services for pregnant and parenting teens. Identifying resources specific to the needs of a local program can be done through many sources. Some of them include:

  • "Directory of Community Resources," which provides in-depth descriptions of service programs with eligibility requirements;
  • "Blue Pages" of local telephone directories;
  • high schools;
  • hospitals;
  • local county assistance offices;
  • governmental agencies;
  • service and civic clubs, church groups, private and public ventures; and
  • additional suggestions (see attached Community Resource listing).

Once the resource list has been compiled, it can be used to acquire:

  • speakers for seminars, workshops and parenting classes;
  • mentor participants;
  • contacts for career and job exploration opportunities;
  • referrals for participants and program staff; and
  • participants for program Advisory Boards or Service Provider Councils.

The Advisory Boards and Service Provider Councils can then take active roles in helping teen parents implement a variety of activities:

  • volunteer programs;
  • job training;
  • alternative education credits;
  • summer programming;
  • cultural affairs;
  • fundraising events;
  • job and health fairs; and
  • incentive programs.

Sometimes simply obtaining the community resource list is the easy task. It is important to publicize what services are offered through the parenting program. The more staff and students participate in community meetings, health fairs and other functions, the more visible and viable these resources become. This helps to create, build and sustain the bond needed for maintaining effective community partnerships. Pamphlets, brochures, phone-a-thons, mass mailings and media exposure are other methods of promoting the program as well as publicizing active collaborators.

Services provided to pregnant and parenting teens through collaborations with community resources may also be used to:

  • develop services within the school system such as on-site WIC and prenatal clinics;
  • develop liaisons with off-site agencies to help students quickly and effectively receive information and aid;
  • access community goods, services and funds; and
  • provide programming through speakers during parenting classes or special activities within the parenting program.

Maintaining Partnerships

Working with the commununity is a two-way street. It is important for agencies to see that parenting programs can be "giving as well as taking" collaborations. To maintain active agency partnerships, it is important to:

  • recognize the agencies and individuals within the agencies who are involved in the program whenever possible, through public acknowledgements, invitations to activities and personal thank-you's;
  • participate in mutual agency activities such as Advisory Boards and community functions; and
  • coordinate effective and user friendly services. It is important for programs to be comprehensive, preventive, training-focused and results-based, in addition to being accessible, child- and family-centered and flexible.

Community involvement is an important component to the success of any program. The potential for providing academic and supportive services to students is limitless. The larger the base of diverse people and organizations that can be acquired, the greater the number of students that can be helped.

Involving the Community

  • Involve students in community service projects (collecting food for food banks) and/or let them visit various agencies (senior citizens centers) in the community.
  • Have neighborhood socials and get-togethers sponsored by parent groups, companies or organizations.
  • Develop a speakers bureau/network of key communicators for your school.
  • Persuade local business to adopt a school.
  • Host an open house before school starts and during the school year.
  • Develop a school brochure.
  • Recruit senior citizens or collaborate with a local foster grandparent program.
  • Develop a community Advisory Board.
  • Work in coalitions with groups who share similar goals.

Community Agencies and Services

The following services may be available in your community. Check the blue pages of your telephone directory.

Abuse and Neglect Prevention Programs

  • Anti-violence Coalition
  • Domestic Violence
  • Parents Helping Parents
  • Child Line (Department of Public Welfare (DPW)

Early Childhood and Child Care Programs

  • Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP)
  • County Day Care Services
  • Early Intervention Program
  • Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program
  • Even Start
  • Family Centers for Child Development
  • Head Start
  • Subsidized Child Care: Local Management Agency (LMA)

Education Training and Employment Programs

  • Adult Literacy
  • Program GED: General Educational Development Test
  • JOBS: Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Program (DPW)
  • JTPA: Job Training Partnership Act New Direction (DPW)
  • Private Industry Council (PIC)
  • SPOC: Single Point of Contact (DPW) - Local CAO
  • State Jobs Centers
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Vocational-Technical Schools

Health Services

  • AIDS Program
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • CHAPS Program: Primary Health Services for Children
  • CHIPS Children's Health Insurance Program
  • CONNECT: Coordination and Outreach Network for the Needs of Exceptional Children Today
  • County Medical Society/Physicians; OB/GYN, Pediatric
  • Dairy and Nutrition Council
  • Early Intervention Program
  • Easter Seals
  • EPSDT: Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program (DPW)
  • Family Planning Services
  • Fetal Alcohol Network
  • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (Pennsylvania/County)
  • Healthy Beginnings and Healthy Beginnings Plus (DPW)
  • Hospitals/Health Centers/Clinics
  • LaLeche League
  • Lead Poisoning Prevention Project
  • March of Dimes
  • Medical Assistance (DPW) (Local CAO)
  • Minority Health Education Delivery System, Inc. (MHEDS)
  • Penn State Cooperative Extension/Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)
  • Poison Information Center
  • State Health Center System
  • Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting Project (TAPP)
  • United Cerebral Palsy
  • WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Supplemental Food Program


  • County Community Action Program
  • County Housing Authority
  • Homeless Student Initiative
  • Women's Shelters/Domestic Abuse

Legal Services

  • Consumer Credit Counseling Service
  • County Bar Association
  • County Court House: Paternity, Custody, Child Support, Domestic Relations
  • Domestic Violence Services
  • Legal Services
  • Rape Crisis Services

Mental Health Services

  • County Mental Health[Mental Retardation
  • Family-Based Mental Health Services/ Department of Public Welfare

Parenting Programs

  • Children and Youth Services
  • Family Centers for Child Development
  • Family Crisis Intervention, Inc.
  • Parents Anonymous of Pennsylvania
  • Pregnancy Counseling Service Programs
  • Pregnant and Parenting Teen Programs

Recreation Programs

  • Boys & Girls Clubs
  • County 4-H Clubs
  • Local Museums
  • YMCA
  • YWCA

Social Services

  • American Red Cross
  • Birthright
  • Catholic Charities
  • Family Services
  • Florence Crittenton Services
  • Junior League
  • PA Federation of Women's Clubs
  • Salvation Army


  • Child Passenger Safety Program: Traffic Injury Prevention Project
  • County Transportation Authority
  • Medical Assistance Transportation Program



800 Information Operator

AIDS Factline

AIDS Information Hotline

Child Line

Child Health Insurance Program Information Line

CONNECT Information Services
(Early Intervention Program)


Food Stamps Information Line/
School Lunch Program


Governor's Action Center Hotline

Health Information Hotline

Healthy Baby Helpline

Healthy Kids Helpline

Latino Affairs

Lead Information Line

Medicare Hotline

National Literacy Hotline

National Runaway Switchboard and Adolescent Suicide

Office of Drugs and Alcohol


Operation Peace of Mind
(Runaway Hotline)


Operation Venus
(Venereal Disease Hotline)


Pennsylvania Bar Association

Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
--Child Passenger Safety Project
--Early Childhood Education Linkage System

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape

Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA)
--Grants 1-800-692-7435
--Loans 1-800-692-7392

Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy, Inc.

Rape Crisis Center, Inc.

SIDS Helpline - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Special Kids Network

State Department of Health Hotline

State Lawyer Referral Service

State Legislation
(League of Women Voters)


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Center for Schools and Communities


This page is maintained by the Center for Schools and Communities.

last updated April 30, 1999

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