Teens in foster care face considerable individual and family challenges that place them at an elevated risk of becoming a teen parent. Child Trends has released a new research brief, Teen Parents in Foster Care: Risk Factors and Outcomes for Teens and Their Children, which reviews existing research literature on teens in foster care and examines analyses of primarily regional data to assess the extent to which teens in foster care are at risk of teen pregnancy and parenting. Existing studies suggest that teens in foster care have higher rates of teen pregnancy and parenthood than youth not in care. More than 160,000 of the children in foster care were over 12 years old in 2009.
On the basis of the research highlighted in this brief, Child Trends identifies several challenges to reducing rates of pregnancy and childbearing among teens in foster care and to preventing negative outcomes for these teen parents and their children. With this brief, we hope to increase understanding of this high-risk population; to inform strategies to reduce teen pregnancies in foster care and support teen parents in foster care and their children; and to identify issues that need further research.
This research was supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.