GET THE FACTS
Teen Births in Manatee County, Florida:
Manatee County Florida has the 12th highest teen birth rate in the nation and is one of only three [out of 50] states that did not accept federal funding for the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) in 2011 (Federal Funding by State, 2011). The PREP program is a comprehensive education program that promotes scientifically accurate and evidence-based education versus strictly abstinence.
OF OUR TEENS:
Manatee County currently ranks seventh highest in the state for repeat births to mothers aged 15 to 17. Although Manatee County has historically experienced high teen pregnancy rates, live births to teen mothers have dropped by 38.79%, when comparing 2011-2013 with 2003-2010. Live births to teen mothers ages 14 and under has decreased by 74%. This encouraging decrease has been demonstrated after the community's strong focus on intensive programming to reduce teen pregnancies, which began in early 2011 via broad non-profit, school, and county partnerships. However, among 14 to 18-year-olds, the county’s rate (24.8%) remains higher than the state average (17%) and the average birth rate to students 12 to19 years old is 365 per year. Young women 18 to 19 years old comprise the majority of teen mothers (67.3%) in Manatee County. Sources: Healthy Teens Campaign, 2014 and Florida CHARTS (FL Dept of Health
Many young people who are vulnerable to early onset of sexual intercourse, unprotected sex, and/or sexual harm have experienced poverty, a disadvantaged family background, child abuse, sexual harm, exposure to substance abuse, interpersonal violence, academic struggles, and a lack of adequate health care. The most vulnerable youth are in foster care, incarcerated, homeless, or marginalized.
WHY IT MATTERS
Early childbearing contributes to lower levels of educational attainment
for the teen mom and her child. In Manatee County, 37% of teen parents do not complete their high school education following the birth of a child; this is reflective of national data, which shows 38% of teen moms do not receive their high school diploma.
More than 60% of teens who become pregnant are living in poverty at the time of the birth and more than 40% of teen moms report living in poverty by age 27.
Less education contributes to a cycle of poverty.
The life course consequences for the children of teen parents are alarming
Floridian taxpayers paid $11.7 billion
as they grow up, sons of teen mothers are twice as likely to be incarcerated and daughters are three times more likely to become teen mothers themselves.
Research shows that the majority of teen births
Specifically in Florida, between 1991 and 2008, Floridian taxpayers paid $11.7 billion (approximately $6 million per year) for the 454,978 births to teen mothers in the state. In Manatee County, the vicious cycle of potentially life-long poverty and repeat teen pregnancy costs taxpayers over $11.1 million dollars annually.
to vulnerable young people, who have often experienced some type of trauma in their lives. According to “A Trauma Informed Approach to Adolescent Sexual Health:”
Pregnant and parenting teens have higher rates of depression
close to 30% of women under age 19 experience perinatal depression, which may be a contributing factor to other problems. Children born to moms who begin childbearing at or before age 17, for example, are twice as likely to be placed in foster care and mothers under age 18 maltreat their children at three times the rate of older moms.
With appropriate interventions and collective community efforts
however, these outcomes are preventable, and that is the goal of the Healthy Teens Coalition and its partners.
Sources: Healthy Teens Campaign, National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, Annie E. Casey Foundation, A Trauma Informed Approach to Adolescent Youth by Joann Schladale, M.S., L.M.F.T