The teenage pregnancy strategy began in 1999 with a target to cut half the teenage pregnancies in the UK by 2010. The research from the social exclusion unit set the report on teenage pregnancy and this became the Government’s Strategy over the next 10 years. Political objectives are the Government ideology on what needs to happen and what actually happens in society, focus is now on their objectives, supporting identified vulnerable groups with low aspirations and lack of motivation. Vulnerability can be seen within the context of increasing anxiety over the management of risks in society in which we live (Furedi, 2003; Waiton, 2008). The perception of risk has enticed major sociological attention (Beck, 1992; Giddens 1991; Bauman, 2000), theories of risk offer insights into the effects of the vulnerability.
Teenage pregnancy in the UK is a current problem which continued to grow before the onset on the national government drive to control teenagers getting pregnant by highlighting and launching the teenage pregnancy strategy, there are major political objectives especially when there is media involvement highlighting it teenage mothers who are to blame, contributing to social, financial and political problems, Rolfe (2008). Evidence identifies becoming pregnant while in your teen can be detrimental to your health and the baby’s health too (Cunningham, 1984, Vincent, 2007 and DCSF, 2009) There is an ideology that in society are forced through educational institutions to gain control in the society and community’s Phoenix and Woolett (1991). In the 1990s teenage pregnancies reached its peak the government in power at the time thought that due to the increase levels of pregnancies, however numerous researchers agreed that sex education in school from key stage 2 to key stage 4 was the way forward to making progress for better outcomes and hopefully a reduction in statistics (Emmerson 2007 and Lall 2007).
Teenage pregnancy programmes, are improving outcomes for vulnerable young people (Austerberry and Wiggins, 2007). The Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advice Group (TPIAG) recommended that teenage pregnancy programmes are reduced either by ten to twenty %, with an increasing number of councils reducing the jobs of Teenage Pregnancy Co-ordinators (Children and Young People Now, 11th January 2011). Charitable organisations also face extra opposition to gain grant and funds for high-quality provisions as local council cuts funding (NCVYS,2010), Levy-Vroelent’s (2010) has fears that vulnerable groups in more deprivation will be competing against each another. The impending welfare reforms are now reflected in relation to young people who are considered vulnerable. Young vulnerable people will be affected by Coalition welfare reform in four ways, these being a reduction in services, benefit changes and housing.
The teenage pregnancy strategy was welcomed by health professions, media and supporters, the strategy underpinned the findings of research to look at the strategies objectives and effects. The strategy looking in particular at the two objectives of how to prevent teenage pregnancy and providing support to teenage parents, this has been critiqued by drawing attention and targeting teenage mothers with little provision (Arai,2009, Duncan et al 2010). Who actually says teenage pregnancy is a problem? Looking at the challenges of the strategy it shows that statements that teenage young mothers in itself are the causes a disadvantage and produces poorer outcomes and causes an impact on our society which brings an attachment and negativity of becoming a young mother with no referral to any positive experience only in a pessimistic way given by policy, (Duncan et al, 20010; Arai, 2009; Seamark and Lings, 2004; Lawlor and Shaw 2002)
The negative point about the national teenage pregnancy strategy is that not all local have the same outcomes compared to other authorities. The areas that have implemented the Teenage pregnancy Strategy have noticed a positive move forward towards their education of teenage pregnancy but this can also be seen as a measurement of teaching sex education in the curriculum both positive outcomes can be measured There are various teenage pregnancy strategies which in some communities overlap each other, first is the Teenage pregnancy strategy overseen by the government, the National Health Service (NHS) teenage pregnancy support giving support through the pregnancy and after the birth, care to learn is helping and directing the correct advice when it comes to financial issues as it can give free child care when you return back to school.
Furedi, F. (2003) A Culture of Fear Revisited: Risk taking and the morality of low expectation. 4th Edition. London: Continuum Books
Giddens, A. (1990) The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press
NCVYS (2010) Comprehensive Cuts: report on funding changes in the voluntary and community youth sector. London: NCVYS Austerberry and Wiggins (2007) ‘Taking a pro-choice perspective on promoting inclusion of teenage mothers: Lessons from an evaluation of the Sure Start Plus programme’. Critical Public Health, 17, 1: 3–15
Children and Young People Now, ‘Coalition policy risks rise in teen pregnancy, experts warn’ 11th January 2011
Levy-Vroelent, C. (2010) ‘Housing Vulnerable Groups: The Development of a New Public Action Sector’. International Journal of Housing Policy, 10, 4: 443-456
DUNCAN, S., Edwards, R. and Alexander, C. (2010) Teenage Parenthood: What is the problem? London: The Tufnell Press
LAWLOR, D.A. and Shaw.M. (2002) Too much too young? Teenage pregnancy is not a public health problem, International Journal of Epidemiology, vol.31, no.3, pp552-3. [doi:10.1093/ije/31.3.552]
SEAMARK, C. and Lings, P. (2004) ‘Positive experiences of teenage motherhood: a qualitative study’. British Journal of General Practice 54:813-8. ARAI, L. (2009) Teenage Pregnancy: The making and unmaking of a problem. Bristol: The Policy Press.
The guardian Hope and ambition at the school for teenage mothers http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/apr/19/youngpeople-schools accessed 12/01/13 Kaufman CE, Wet T & Stadler J 2001. Adolescent pregnancy and parenthood in South Africa. Studies in Family Planning, 322:147-160. Grant M & Hallman K 2006. Pregnancy-related School Dropout and Prior School Performance in South Africa. Available online: www.popcouncil.org/publications/wp/prd/rdwplist.html . Accessed 5 Jan 2013
Kmietowicz Z (2002). US and UK are top in teenage pregnancy rates. British
Medical Journal 8; 324(7350): 1354.
Ermisch, J. and Pevalin, D. (2003). Who has a child as a teenager? ISER working paper 2003-30. Colchester: Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex. Retrieved from www.iser.essex.ac.uk/pubs/workpaps/pdf/2003-30.pdf
Teenage Pregnancy and Sexual health Strategy (2009). Department of Health and Department of Children, Schools and Families. Retrieved from http://www.nhs.uk/sexualhealthprofessional/Documents/Sexual_Health_Strategy_2009.pdf
Botting, B., Rosato, M. and Wood, R. (1998). Teenage mothers and the health of their children. Population Trends 93 : 19-28. Retrieved from www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_population/POPTrends93_v2.pdf
Kiernan, K. (1995). Transition to parenthood: young mothers, young fathers – associated factors and later life experiences. LSE Discussion Paper WSP/113. London: London School of Economics
UNICEF (2003) Teenage Births in Rich Nations, Innocenti Report Card No. 3, Paris
Social Exclusion Unit, Teenage Pregnancy, London, Department of Health, 1999
Department of Education and Skills, Teenage Pregnancy Accelerating the Strategy to 2010, London. DfES, 2006.
Rolfe, A. (2008). ‘You’ve got to grow up when you’ve got a kid: marginalized young women’s accounts of motherhood. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 18, 299-314. Phoenix, A. & Woolett, A. (1991). Motherhood: Social construction, politics and psychology. In A.Phoenix, A.Woolett & E.Lloyd (Eds.), Motherhood-meanings, practices and ideologies (pp.13- 28). London: Sage Publishers
Cunningham, A. M. (1984) Teenage Pregnancy: the social making and un-making of mothers, Birmingham: Pepar
Vincent, K. (2007) ‘Teenage Pregnancy and Sex and Relationship Education: Myths and (mis)Conceptions’ Pastoral Care, pp 16-23
DCSF (2009) Government Response to the 5th Annual Report of the Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group, London: DCSF Publications
Emmerson, L. (2007) ‘SRE and Young People in Further Education: A Review of Provision and Practice in England’ Pastoral Care, pp. 39-47
Lall, M (2007) ‘Exclusion from school: teenage pregnancy and the denial of education’ Sex Education, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp 219-237