ERIC Number: ED399319
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Age of Confusion. Why So Many Teens Are Getting Pregnant, Turning to Welfare and Ending up Homeless.
Homes for the Homeless, Inc., New York, NY.
This report documents a history of unintended pregnancy, premature motherhood, and failure to plan for the future. Research indicates that most homeless young women are aware of birth control, but few of those who became pregnant were able to translate this knowledge into practice. The failure of homeless mothers to engage in family planning is strongly associated with their low levels of education; 65% did not complete high school. Sixty-five percent of homeless women do not use birth control, and 56 percent have had an abortion. Current efforts to deter teenage motherhood have consistently failed, as have efforts to reduce welfare dependency. Proposed welfare reforms, which include severe funding cuts to public assistance and other subsidies, will only destroy the remaining safety net, and will surely stimulate poverty and homelessness. Homeless women may feel that abortion is the only route open to them. Policy makers must begin to experiment with alternate initiatives to current efforts to prevent teen pregnancy. Assistance must be linked to educational opportunities, and young mothers must return to school in order to receive welfare. Broad residential-based educational initiatives will help instill traditional family values of responsibility and independence and put young families on the track to self-sufficiency and self-determination. (Contains four figures.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Homes for the Homeless, Inc., New York, NY.