Washington State Department of Health
Enlace (Spanish for “link” or “bond”) works with partners at the community, regional, and state levels to provide expectant and parenting youth and their families with services to support their physical and emotional health, improve their parenting skills, complete their education, and help secure fulfilling employment. Each local partner implements evidence-informed programs to address gaps specific to their community; regional and state initiatives provide broad, integrated support for these local programs.
- Population: Expectant and parenting teens (ages 13-24) and their families, with a focus on Latino communities
- Locations: Statewide, with a focus on Yakima, Grant, Adams, and Franklin Counties
- Partners: Benton-Franklin Health District, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Columbia Basin Health Association, Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction, Attorney General’s Office, WithinReach, Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, and Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Reduce number of repeat teen pregnancies.
- Increase retention in school and improve education achievement.
- Improve access to community services supportive of expectant and parenting teens and their children (including health care, economic opportunity, and social networks).
- Increase supply of stable housing for this population, especially victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Local evidence-based programs
Enlace supports local partners in implementing evidence-informed programs to address service gaps specific to their communities. For instance, the Benton-Franklin Health District contracted with You Medical, a local health services organization, to implement two evidence-informed fatherhood curricula: 24/7 Dads and Inside Out Dad (the latter specifically designed for incarcerated fathers). In another case, the Columbia Basin Health Association (CBHA) and Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC) are implementing the evidence-based Parents as Teachers curriculum, which includes interventions to promote parenting knowledge, healthy relationships, and communication skills. CBHA, YVFWC, and other local partners have included bilingual and bicultural staff to make their services more accessible to the Hispanic communities they serve.
Regional- and state-level partnerships
Enlace coordinates state-level efforts to improve education and health outcomes of expectant and parenting adolescents, which, along with Enlace’s local initiatives, provide an integrated system of care for the program’s participants. For example, the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction provides training to Graduation, Reality, and Dual-role Skills (GRADS) teachers, who provide academic instruction to expectant and parenting students in high schools throughout Washington. Enlace also coordinates the efforts of the Washington Attorney General’s Office and the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Coalitions to develop guidelines for screening expectant and parenting young women for domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and to provide survivors with safe and stable housing.
Stats at a Glance
- 3,028 expectant and parenting youth received at least one service
- 2,931 children received at least one service
- 1,042 participants received information on parenting skills
In Focus: Sarah’s Story
Sarah* and Alex married when they were very young, and Alex Jr. was born when Sarah was 18. With the help of Marisol, from Columbia Basin Health Association (CBHA) Family Programs, Sarah learned about child intellectual and physical development, and made sure Alex Jr. received testing to measure his progress. She also learned practical tips, like how to calm Alex Jr. down when he had his first meltdown, and how to prepare Alex Jr. for preschool. Now three years old, Alex Jr. is doing very well, and Sarah and Alex Sr. are grateful for all the help they received along the way.
*Names have been changed to ensure the privacy of the participants
About the PAF Program
The Office of Adolescent Health Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) Program provides funding to states and tribal entities to improve the health, educational, social, and economic outcomes of expectant and parenting teens, women, fathers, and their families.
Content last reviewed on October 11, 2018