Teen pregnancy is a serious issue in Georgia. By preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy, we can significantly improve other serious social problems including poverty, child abuse and neglect, father-absence, low birth weight, school failure, and poor preparation for the workforce. Preventing teen pregnancy is a priority for the Department of Public Health. DPH uses a comprehensive approach to address teen pregnancy through evidences-based programs and best practices.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy says that teen childbearing in Georgia cost taxpayers at least $395 million in 2010. We are making great progress in Georgia. The teen birth rate in Georgia declined by about half between 1998 and 2012, and is down to around 30 births per 1,000. Between 2011 and 2012 alone, the rate fell more than 12 percent. We are saving between $400 million and $500 million dollars a year by preventing teen pregnancy in Georgia.
Research shows that successful teen pregnancy prevention programs address the broad range of social and economic factors that affect teen behavior. No single approach is effective by itself. In Georgia, a comprehensive approach is utilized. This approach consists of several strategies including the following:
- Coordinated district adolescent health services
- Abstinence and comprehensive sexuality education
- Parent education and involvement
- Faith/health community partnerships
- Best practices for prevention programs
In partnership with the Georgia Department of Human Services and Georgia Department of Family and Children Services, DPH uses a comprehensive approach to address teen pregnancy through evidences-based programs and best practices.
DPH’s Adolescent Health and Youth Development (AHYD) Program aims to support adolescents develop healthy, educated, employable, and connected to their families and communities.
Youth Development Coordinators (YDC) at the local level coordinate efforts between district and county health departments including AHYD Programs. Youth Development Coordinators form critical partnerships with afterschool programs and county and community agencies, holding workshops with parents, faith-based institutions, and public health leaders to foster collaboration around key adolescent health and youth development issues.