Each year, thousands of young people across Oklahoma become parents before they earn a high school diploma. Many are unprepared for the challenges of parenting and supporting a family. Most haven’t finished growing up themselves.
Oklahoma’s teen birth rates and numbers have declined steadily over the past two decades, yet our teen birth rates remain among the highest in the nation. Other states have focused more attention and resources on effective strategies that help young people avoid too-early pregnancy and unprepared parenting. Several Oklahoma communities, however, have launched major efforts to help young people finish their education, start a career and determine if, and when, they are prepared to support a family.
Healthy Teens OK! provides data, program resources and contacts for organizations using proven approaches to reduce teen pregnancy and promote healthy adolescent development. These groups are dedicated to ensuring that all young people have access to the information and services they need to protect their sexual health and plan for their future.
Teen pregnancy is a complex issue. Reducing it is a key strategy for:
• Creating healthy, capable, self-sufficient young people and families.
• Reducing poverty and expanding opportunities for all young people to succeed.
• Increasing school readiness, high school graduation rates and college attendance.
• Expanding a skilled workforce and the economic prosperity of our communities.
There’s a role for everyone — youth and adults — as a partner in prevention.