Children's Trust Fund of South Carolina
Sustaining Programming through Collaboration at the State and Local Levels
The Children’s Trust Fund of South Carolina and the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s program, Community Support for Young Parents, provides a system of coordinated care to expectant and parenting teens across four South Carolina counties. Through multiple partnerships at the state and local levels, the program works to increase access to services for expectant and parenting teens. Supported with funding from the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), Community Support for Young Parents anticipates reaching 1,500 participants by the end of their grant.
Developed to address the state’s high rate of teen births (31.6 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19 in 2013) and low on-time graduation rate (72 percent in 2011-12), Community Support for Young Parents selected communities throughout the state that, in turn, assembled a team of interested local collaborators to meet the following goals of the program:
- Increase the educational attainment of South Carolina’s young parents –mothers and fathers
- Reduce the rate of unintended repeat teen pregnancies and births among South Carolina teens
- Improve parenting skills to ensure children are receiving the proper care
- Increase the quality, quantity, and awareness of services for young parents
This local team of collaborators (sometimes numbering more than 15 organizations) is part of the community’s comprehensive support system for expectant and parenting teens. The teams’ services are guided by the community’s assets and needs, determined by a needs assessment conducted at the beginning of the project. In order to provide expectant and parenting teens with wrap-around services, each community is, at minimum, implementing:
- An evidence-based parenting program
- An evidence-based or promising unintended repeat pregnancy prevention program
- High school graduation, GED, or education case management
- Linkages to local social services that include clinical services
Additionally, each community is placing a specific emphasis on reaching out to young fathers by engaging partners who work exclusively with fathers; because many of these partners have traditionally worked with older fathers, Children’s Trust Fund is assisting these partners in adapting their fatherhood programming to reachout and attract young fathers.
At both the State and local levels, collaboration has been Community Support for Young Parents’ main strategy for success. At the State level, five core partners specialize in one of the following aspects of the program: fidelity to parenting programs, implementation of unintended repeat pregnancy prevention programs, education programs, engaging fathers, and evaluation and community awareness. Next, these State-level partners provide T&TA to teams of local collaborators. Lee Porter, Chief Program Officer, noted “While having many partners is more complex on the front end, for the long-term we feel it will yield more sustainable results and effectiveness for the local communities.”
To evaluate the effectiveness of this collaborative approach, the grantee is conducting a systems impact analysis, using social network theory and methods. Andrea Heyward, Project Coordinator, explained, “This analysis is being conducted to examine the extent to which the expanded services, supported by PAF funding, alter or influence the existing system of care for expectant and parenting teens in each funded community, and potentially contribute to improved and sustainable services.”
Ultimately, Children’s Trust Fund and the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy hope to demonstrate that when communities work collaboratively, young families are better served.
Content last reviewed on January 26, 2016