The Implementation of Maternity Group Home Programs: Serving Pregnant and Parenting Teens in a Residential Setting. Methodology and Research Questions


This study examines maternity group home programs in seven states. In this study, a maternity group home is defined as a residential program providing substantial supervision and other services primarily to pregnant and/or parenting teenagers. Because one main goal of the current study is to assess the feasibility of conducting a more rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of maternity group home programs, our emphasis was on programs that seemed to have the highest potential for inclusion in such an evaluation. Thus, the homes included in this study are not necessarily typical or representative of maternity group homes nationwide. In particular, the programs in the study are relatively large, most including multiple homes. Table 1 provides a brief overview of the seven programs in this study.

We conducted two-day site visits to each of these programs, visiting up to five maternity group homes in each program. During the visits, we met with staff of the agency or organization that oversees all the homes in the program, and sometimes with staff of another agency that provides the majority of funding or referrals. At each home, we toured the facility, met with key staff, and, where possible, spoke with residents and observed program activities.

This report describes the implementation of these seven large maternity group home programs. In particular, the report addresses three sets of research questions:

  • Management, Funding, and Target Population. What kinds of management structures support and guide larger maternity group home programs? What are the sources of funding for these programs? What are the eligibility requirements and typical referral sources? What are the characteristics of the population these homes serve?
  • Services Provided. What are maternity group homes like? What kinds of facilities house the programs? What kinds of services do they provide?
  • Staffing and Costs. How are maternity group homes staffed? What are the levels of funding for these programs? Why do program costs vary across homes?

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