• July 2007
  • Vol. 8, No. 6

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Program for Teen Mothers Shows Broad Benefits

What began as a partnership between an emergency shelter program and a San Antonio school district has blossomed into a successful program for pregnant teens, showing widespread benefits for the teens, their children, and the schools. As described in a recent article in Alliance for Children and Families Magazine, Project MAS (mothers and schools) uses a wraparound approach to provide the State-mandated tutoring that schools struggled to give to pregnant teens and new mothers in the past. It also ensures that the girls receive parenting education and other necessary referrals and services.

An important feature of Project MAS is the Nurturing Program—a parenting curriculum designed for teen parents that begins when the girls are pregnant and continues after the birth. Before Project MAS, workers at the organization's emergency shelter noted an increase in abuse and neglect by very young parents. Outcomes for the girls who completed the program show that 100 percent demonstrated improvement in parenting skills and knowledge, and 98 percent had not been referred to child protective services.

The administrators of Project MAS have made a concerted effort to track and report their outcomes. Other program successes include the fact that 98 percent of the girls have returned to school following maternity leave, and 97 percent have not had repeat pregnancies.

These achievements have led to a significant expansion of the program into other schools. Project MAS administrators hope that the program will continue to grow, transitioning away from providing emergency care and toward providing community-centered and in-home care.

To read the original article, "Program Opens Door to New Role: Partnership With School District Benefits Many," in the spring 2007 issue of Alliance for Children and Families Magazine, visit the website:

www.alliance1.org/Magazine/spring2007/spr07-projectmas.pdf (PDF - 3.79 KB)

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