The Path Forward
Accelerating Progress: A road map for achieving further reductions in teen pregnancy
For the past two years, with funding from The Duke Endowment we have guided a first-of-its-kind research project to identify a path forward for teen pregnancy prevention efforts that would maximize resources and target communities most in need. While we served as the catalyst agency, organizational leadership from more than a dozen agencies participated in this endeavor. As a result, we have produced a collection of information, recommendations, and investment strategies that provide a clear path forward to achieving further reductions in South Carolina’s teen birth rate.
A Look Inside the Report
This publication has great value, because despite an impressive 67% decline in the teen birth rate over the last 25 years, rates remain too high in certain communities and among certain populations.
Formulating a new investment strategy required a more deliberate and sophisticated examination of the issue of teen pregnancy than what had previously been available. A complex methodology was used to gather, analyze and synthesize data; roughly 170 individuals were interviewed or participated in focus groups; two case studies, one of a teen clinic and one of a school district implementing an evidence-based curriculum, were conducted; statewide teen birth data and other research studies were analyzed to identify trends, priority areas, and priority populations for future interventions.
Far too often, funders do not engage in sophisticated targeting strategies when determining where to invest resources. The intention of this plan is to bring focus to multiple groups of high-need populations and high-need counties, including those who have a high volume of teen births and/or whose burden level is the highest.
To achieve the greatest impact, future investments must target organizations in high volume and/or high burden communities to increase their capacity to implement highly effective, evidence-based strategies with populations of greatest need.
The genesis of the strategies proposed in this plan is guided by a “technical package” approach put forth by the Centers for Disease Control – that effective public health programs consist of a limited number of high priority, evidence-based strategies packaged together for maximum effect. To accelerate progress in South Carolina, the package proposed in this document includes four evidence-based strategies designed to decrease teen pregnancies by promoting abstinence and consistent use of effective birth control methods (including condoms) among sexually active youth.