Pregnant & Parenting Youth

  • Teenage pregnancy rates have been declining for decades, recently dropping to their lowest point in more than 70 years in the United States. Still, many youths become pregnant each year.
  • Becoming a parent early in life can have a huge impact on a young person’s education and health. Everyone should have the knowledge and access to resources to decide for themselves if, when, and how to become a parent. Do not assume anything about your student and their feelings about their pregnancy. Hold space for them to have a range of emotions. This student has trusted you to open up about an often-stigmatized subject.
  • If someone chooses to continue their pregnancy, high quality prenatal care is crucial. This is true even if a pregnant person is young and healthy.
  • Teen parents are at increased risk for dropping out of school, unemployment, poverty, mental health issues, and childcare concerns. Ensuring that adolescent parents receive adequate social, emotional, medical, and academic support is essential to the parent and the baby’s future.
  • Under Illinois Law, most young people under the age of 18 need a parent or guardian to consent to primary health care services (i.e., school physicals, strep throat) but this changes when someone becomes pregnant.
    • If young people under age 18 are married, pregnant, or parenting, they can legally self-consent to primary care for themselves and their child.
  • 1 in 3 pregnant people experience clinically significant anxiety or depression symptoms during or after pregnancy. An emotionally healthy parent is better able to establish a strong relationship with her baby, which fosters healthy infant development and family bonds. The mental health of young parents is particularly important as they often face the stigma that comes with becoming a parent early in life, among other challenges.

ConnecTeen at Lurie Children’s Hospital

  • SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: 
    • ConnecTeen at Lurie Children's Hospital allows a single point of contact to understand the young person’s needs and provide an appropriate referral to the home visiting program. Home visiting has many goals focused on maternal and child health, and research shows that these visits contribute to positive outcomes for mothers and their children. Families gain skills and resources to support their children to be physically, socially, and emotionally healthy, and mothers are properly supported during pregnancy and the postpartum period - not just in their health, but also in their education. This is part of the large Family ConnectChicago’s work but is focus on serving youth. 
      • Learn more about this program here.
  • WHO CAN ACCESS THE PROGRAM: 
    • ConnecTeen is designed to serve and support pregnant and parenting youth who attend Chicago Public Schools (CPS) or live in the City of Chicago, by connecting them with a network of home visiting providers in their community area.
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  • RESOURCES:
  • PROGRAM CONTACT INFORMATION:

Lead Poisoning Prevention 

  • SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: 
    • Case Management: Children with a confirmed elevated blood lead level of at least 5 micrograms per deciliter are referred to the CDPH lead case management unit. A public health nurse will meet with family, conduct a developmental assessment, provide nutritional counseling, coordinate with a lead inspector, and make referrals for additional services as needed.
    • Environmental Inspection: Licensed lead inspectors inspect the interior/exterior of residences where a child has received an elevated blood level to determine if there are any lead hazards.
    • Enforcement: Property owners of properties that have been found to have lead hazards must have the lead hazards removed by a lead-certified contractor according to the City of Chicago ordinance.
    • Healthy Homes (HUD): The Chicago Lead Poisoning Prevention and Healthy Homes Program’s (LPPHHP) mission is to detect and address exposures to lead hazards. The LPPHHP assists low-income families who occupy pre-1978 privately-owned housing in the City of Chicago through the Lead-Based Paint Hazard and Reduction Grant
    • Community Engagement: The Chicago Lead Poisoning Prevention and Healthy Homes Program’s (LPPHHP) provides education to families, communities and other organizations such as childcare providers about lead poisoning prevention and testing.
    • Learn more about this program here.
  • WHO CAN ACCESS THE PROGRAM: 
    • Must live in the city of Chicago.
  • LINKS:
  • RESOURCES:
  • PROGRAM CONTACT INFORMATION:
    • Hotline 312.747.LEAD (5323)
    • 2133 W. Lexington St. Chicago, IL 60612

WIC

Pregnant & Parenting Youth

Pregnant and parenting teens often face challenges balancing their school, work, and home lives with being a new parent.  Learn about high quality resources for pregnant and parenting youth on this page. 

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