Early Pregnancy and Parenthood among Child Welfare-Involved Youth


Oxford Bibliographies, October 2021


Bryn King


Suggested Citation

King, B., Goulden, A.*, & William, K.* (2021). Early pregnancy and parenthood among child welfare-involved youth. In E. J. Mullen (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Social Work. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0307

As teen birth rates in the general population have decreased, the focus has shifted to groups who are more at risk for early pregnancy and childbirth and who experience greater vulnerability once they become parents. Research has consistently documented higher teen birth rates among youth with current or historic involvement in child welfare compared to other youth, and this has been linked to their socioeconomic circumstances, histories of maltreatment and trauma, and experiences within the system, particularly foster care. Young parents who have been involved with child welfare or in foster care experience greater vulnerability than other young parents, but their new role as parents present substantial opportunities for growth and renewal. Despite that promise, their children experience a higher likelihood of second-generation maltreatment and/or involvement in child welfare than children born to young parents in the general population. 


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