A National Strategy to Prevent Teen Pregnancy: Annual Report 1998-99. Supporting Promising Approaches


In 1999, HHS provided support to efforts ongoing since the first year of the Strat egy. The Department of Health and Human Services has continued to ensure that at least 25 percent of communities had teen pregnancy prevention programs in place-as mandated by section 905 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

In FY 1998, 34% of communities had teen pregnancy prevention programs in place. This is a conservative estimate because it represents only HHSfunded programs that flow directly to communities. HHS also supports other teen pregnancy prevention efforts through its various state block grant programs. In addition, there are numerous activities supported by funding sources outside of HHS. For example, two of the purposes of TANF are to prevent out-of-wedlock pregnancies and to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. In support of these goals, states may use TANF funds for a wide variety of teen pregnancy prevention programs, serving both welfare recipients and the general population.

Highlights of HHS Activities. The National Strategy is built on the belief that successful teen pregnancy prevention efforts are specifically tailored to the unique needs, interests, and challenges of diverse individuals and communities. Although the National Strategy sends the strongest possible message to all teens that postponing sexual activity, staying in school, and preparing to work are the right things to do, the research has shown that girls and boys, for example, experience adolescence in different ways. Therefore, different approaches are required to meet the unique needs of different adolescent populations. This year the Department has continued to fund a broad spectrum of programs that actively involve family and community members, as well as young people themselves. In particular, HHS has promoted the involvement of boys and young men in teen pregnancy prevention.