Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pregnant and Parenting Foster Teens

A new report by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago discusses the risk of female foster youth in Illinois becoming pregnant and giving birth. Using administrative data from the Teen Parenting Service Network, Illinois Department of Children and Family Service, Chicago Public Schools, and the Illinois Medicaid Paid Claims Longitudinal Database and interviews with child welfare agencies directors and caseworkers, researchers examined effects of pregnancy and parenting while in foster care on educational and health outcomes and two-generational involvement in the foster care system.

Many female foster youth are becoming mothers at an early age, and their first child is often not their only one. Nearly one-quarter of the female foster youth who were mothers had at least two children by the time they exited…[O]ur findings suggest that the children of DCFS wards may be an especially vulnerable population. Twenty-two percent of the TPSN mothers were investigated for child abuse or neglect and 11 percent had a child placed in foster care. Most of their children were very young when they were placed, and while some of their placements were very short-term, many had not achieved permanency even after 2 years.

Policies for safely moving children out of foster care and supporting their success.

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