Indiana has gone an entire decade with decreasing teen birth rates, until now. From 1997-2005, we have seen a decrease in teen pregnancy from 32.1 per 1000 female teens to 20.5 per 1000 female teens.Â However, that number rose from ’05 to ’07 and now stands at 21.9.
The Indiana Youth Institute sent out an issue alert entitled “Kids Raising Kids“, and another surprising fact to accompany the increasing teen birth rates is that one in five of these births is to a teenage girl who already is a mother.
“Children born to teen mothers are more likely than children of older parents to grow up in a poor and mother-only family, to live in a poor or underclass neighborhood, and to experience high risks to both their health status and potential school achievement.”- Issue Alert from Indiana Youth Institute
These children are 50% more likely to be born at a low birth weight and do not perform as well as children of older mothers on measures of child development and school readiness.Â With these numbers increasing in Indianapolis, it is important to know what resources are out there for teen mothers in order to help them out.Â In a study done by the FSU Center for Prevention & Early Intervention Policy, children born to teen mothers are more likely to experience abuse, neglect, and abandonment.
By raising awareness for HealthNet’s Better Indy Babies (BIBs) and Healthy Families (HF) Programs, we can change the wording of that last sentence.Â Learn more about the resources available for teen mothers, or donate directly to BIBs/HF here.