National Infant Mortality Awareness Month
After a year of listening to teens, learning about best practices and reviewing statistics, the Northeast Florida Teen Pregnancy Task Force is in the end stages of developing a final plan to tackle the teen pregnancy rate in the region.
Task Force members divided into five subgroups, focusing on developing implementation strategies and potential partners around particular areas that emerged from the year of research:
- Engaging Parents
- Adolescent Health Services
- Community-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention
- Public Policy
- Repeat Teen Pregnancies
The subgroup recommendations will be incorporated into a final plan, which the entire Task Force will vote on in October.
Teens in the region continue to give birth at a higher rate than the state. They also account for a higher proportion of poor birth outcomes, including infant deaths, low birth weight babies, pre-term births and fetal deaths.
Challenges to reduce the teen birth rate include abstinence-only sex education policies and rejection of federal comprehensive sex education funding by the state legislature.
The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition convened the Northeast Florida Teen Pregnancy Task Force in October 2010 to address the high rate of teenage pregnancy and births in Northeast Florida and determine effective methods of prevention, particularly around repeat teen births. Task force membership includes Coalition volunteers; representatives from agencies and organizations that serve adolescents; adolescent health care providers; school systems; youth-serving organizations; teens and other interested organizations.