Investing in What Works: How Social Workers Can Influence Policy to Reduce Pregnancies among Homeless Youth



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University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work


Numerous factors make homeless youth one of the most highly vulnerable youth populations. One such challenge is pregnancy, as homeless youth pregnancy rates are far higher than those of their housed peers. Policies such as the Personal Responsibility Education Program’s Innovative Strategies competitive grant mechanism, have been implemented to explore how evidence-based approaches may ameliorate pregnancy prevalence among various groups of high-risk youth. To date, however, no programs have been adopted to specifically target pregnancy reduction among homeless youth, a high-risk youth population that often displays unique causes and risks regarding pregnancy. This overview examines how social workers and other individuals involved in the policy-making process may work to further adapt and promote Innovative Strategies for use with homeless youth populations. In doing so, promising health and life outcomes could be afforded to one of the most vulnerable and underrepresented, while least visible youth populations.



Unintended Pregnancies, Homeless Youth, Healthy Policy, High-Risk Youth, Unintended Pregnancies, Homeless youth, Healthy Policy, High-Risk Youth, Perspectives on Social Work, Social work