Teen pregnancy affects the foster care system in two major ways: teens in foster care are more likely to become pregnant, and babies born to teen mothers are more likely to be placed in foster care. Investing in prevention would mean fewer children in foster care and less stress on the foster care system.
Teen girls in foster care are 2.5 times more likely to experience a pregnancy than their peers not in foster care.
Teen mothers aged 17 and younger are 2.2 times more likely to have a child placed in foster care than mothers who delay childbearing until age 20 or 21.
Currently, there are more than 8,000 children in foster care in Oklahoma.
Transition Out of Foster Care
The shift from foster care to adulthood is challenging for many youth, especially if they are teen parents. One study of teen parents formerly in foster care found that:
We cannot afford to ignore the overburdened foster care system in Oklahoma. An investment in teen pregnancy prevention will improve foster care conditions and save taxpayers millions.