Office of Adolescent Health News

Keep up with the latest news from The Office of Adolescent Health right here. Click on the links below for more information.

The Affordable Care Act and Adolescents: New Issue Brief and Infographic

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in March of 2010.  Millions of Americans have already benefited from many of the law’s provisions including coverage for preventive health services, a ban on lifetime limits, and insurance coverage for young adults.  The expansion of Medicaid coverage and launch of the Health Care Marketplace will help millions more obtain insurance coverage in 2014.  The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation created a series of research and issue briefs to analyze the impact of the Affordable Care Act. The most recent brief in this series, "The Affordable Care Act and Adolescents", and this accompanying infographic describe how the law addresses the unique health needs of adolescents. Both were developed in conjunction with OAH.

Office of Adolescent Health Awards Grants to Support Pregnant and Parenting Teens

7/29/13 –The HHS Office of Adolescent Health today announced the award of $22,019,937 to 17 grants through its Pregnancy Assistance Fund grant program (PAF) to states and tribes to improve the lives of expectant and parenting teens, women, fathers, and their families.  The PAF is funded under the authority of Sections 10211- 10214 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148; Affordable Care Act).

Nationwide, more than 900 babies each day are born to teen mothers and approximately 31 out of every 1,000 teen girls had a child in 2011.1 Pregnancy and childbearing in the adolescent years have significant health, social, and economic impacts on teen parents and their children. Compared to their peers who delay childbearing, teen mothers and fathers are less likely to finish high school and more likely to face employment difficulties. Their children are also more likely to experience negative outcomes than are children born to older parents. Additionally, pregnant and parenting teens and women of any age are often victims of violence. Studies have found that more than half of a sample of teen moms experienced intimate partner violence in the past year and approximately 20 percent of pregnant teens reported physical or sexual abuse during pregnancy.2

The PAF aims to strengthen access to and completion of education (secondary and postsecondary); improve child and maternal health outcomes; improve pregnancy planning and spacing, and reduce the likelihood of repeat teen pregnancies; increase parenting skills for mothers, fathers, and families; strengthen co-parenting relationships and marriage where appropriate; increase positive parental involvement; decrease intimate partner violence; and raise awareness of available resources.

To accomplish these goals, PAF grantees are funded in one or more of the following categories:

  • Providing support for expectant and parenting students in institutions of higher education;
  • Providing support for expectant and parenting teens, women, fathers, and their families in high schools and community service centers;
  • Improving services for pregnant women who are victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, sexual assault, and stalking; and
  • Increasing public awareness and education of services available for pregnant and parenting teens, women, fathers, and their families.  

The newly awarded grantees are as follows:

Children’s Trust Fund of South Carolina$1,500,000
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma$977,432
Commonwealth of Massachusetts$1,500,000
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes$504,343
Connecticut State Department of Education:$1,500,000
Health Research, Inc./New York State Department of Health$1,333,436
Michigan Department of Community Health$1,500,000
Minnesota Department of Health State Treasurer$1,500,000
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services$1,000,000
New Mexico Public Education Department$1,499,990
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services$1,500,000
Oregon Department of Justice$1,000,382
Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health$704,355
State of California Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health$1,500,000
State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families$1,500,000
Washington State Department of Health$1,500,000
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction$1,499,999
Total$22,019,937

 

Additional resources on providing services to pregnant and parenting teens are available from the OAH on-line PAF Resource and Training Center, at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/oah-initiatives/paf/index.html.

1 HHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Adolescent Health. (2013). Announcement of Availability of Funds for Support for Expectant and Parenting Teens, Women, Fathers and Their Families. Available here.

2 HHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Adolescent Health. (2013). Announcement of Availability of Funds for Support for Expectant and Parenting Teens, Women, Fathers and Their Families. Available here.

Last updated: December 19, 2014