Recently, controlling and managing teen pregnancy is becoming challenging even with the available programs and policies to prevent and resolve premarital pregnancy and the well-being of young mothers and their infants. Although these policies and programs aim at pregnancy prevention for teens, there are assumed consequences that are overlooked, for instance, their potential feedback on teens’ behaviors. The essay below discusses policies and regulations which contribute to the problems of educating pregnant teens.
Most schools and hospitals have social workers who help teen mothers develop ways of taking care of their needs. However, Social workers face challenges in educating pregnant teens because most are from low-income families and immigrants; hence they are afraid of seeking prenatal care for fear of deportation (Jansson, 2019). Due to their living standards, pregnant teens keep their pregnancies confidential, making it hard for social workers to contact them and offer them medical help. Some pregnant teens face discrimination, lack of support from regular schools, and forced joining of continuation schools where their education and well-being are not prioritized.
In most cases, pregnant teens have low education on their rights, regulations policies that govern and protect them from discrimination and stigma in regular schools (Jansson, 2019). Also, teen mothers must walk long distances to attend continuation schools and work multiple jobs to care for their parents, siblings, and themselves. In addition, most pregnant teens lack access to education programs and policies on sex education, the use of protection, and contraceptives. Due to a lack of education and fear of deportation, once teen mothers deliver their children, they cannot acquire childcare funds and postnatal care. New teen moms lack access to social workers who can offer assistance in obtaining Child Protection Services to protect them from abuse and negligence.
Multilevel policy advocacy ensures pregnant teens’ access to healthcare and mental health services and protects their ethical rights. The multilevel advocacy aims at identifying problems that pregnant teens face during and after their pregnancy, for instance, the policies and regulations that contribute to educating pregnant teens. According to the learning challenge, most pregnant teens are from low-income families, immigrants, afraid of deportation, and experience discrimination from school staff (Jansson, 2019). Multilevel policy advocacy deals with Micro Policy at the level of individuals and families; Mezzo Policy deals with society and organizations; macro policy deals with the government, agencies, and political campaigns.
In addition, pregnant teens lack financial support; hence majority drop out of school and take multiple jobs to provide for their families and themselves (Jansson, 2019). After identifying the problem, the sixth challenge is developing support to help pregnant teens. In developing support, social workers should offer adequate education to pregnant teens by educating them on their rights and encouraging them to continue with school during and after delivery. With the government’s help, policies and regulations should be implemented to prohibit schools from discriminating against and expelling pregnant teens (Jansson, 2019). Social services and healthcare facilities should follow up on teen mothers to ensure adequate prenatal and postnatal care.
In summary, the lack of proper education for teenagers has led to an increase in teen pregnancy. Pregnant teens face challenges such as a lack of sex education and contraceptives; they face discrimination, inadequate healthcare, and finances to care for themselves and their newborn child. However, social workers are working towards improving the educational programs and other services that ensure teenage mothers acquire the care and support they need.
Jansson, B. S. (2019). Social Welfare Policy and Advocacy. Advancing Social Justice through Eight Policy Sectors. Second Edition. SAGE Publications.