We made every possible attempt to contact as many programs as possible. This was mainly through contacting various advisors, coalitions, staff, networks and directories. There were also several telephone calls as well as reminders (in the form of both mail, and fax) to the various programs. This was however done to the ones that never returned their surveys. After initiating second mailing attempts as well as phone calls and faxes, an average of 12 completed surveys was received representing a 60% rate of response. A total of 13 programs were visited .There was interviewing of the staff members during the various site visits. The intention was to obtain as much information as possible from their programs as well as to come up with fully completed surveys.
The move aided us to find out that there were various prevention efforts that were instituted in various clinics, community agencies as well as in various schools. All the agencies as well as participating schools had the privilege of being supported with grants from the Arizona Department of Health Services. The grants were aimed at the primary prevention of teenage pregnancies in the county. The programs were targeted towards the prevention of tee pregnancies among the high risk female teens. There were also some programs that targeted the male teens. Currently, there are several school-based health clinics that are geared towards the prevention of teen pregnancies. It is however good to note that the primary prevention programs that are in existence are a good representative of the wide list of services that have been instituted in order to reduce teen pregnancy among the specific target population at the Coconino County.
There are also secondary prevention programs that are running in the county. These secondary prevention programs are aimed to provide services as well as care to both pregnant as well parenting teens. This category was also visited and surveyed .This category comprises of various county health services programs (public health services); In order tpo cme up with the best methods of prevention, it was necessary to include our knowledge from the varois extant literature on the best techniques of preventing teen pregnancy.
We therefore had to consider the following questions;
Are the existing teen prevention programs based on research findings?
Is there feasible impact of the evaluation process?
Does the recommended prevention program serve to meet the need and demand of the multi-ethnic adolescent target group?
Do the recommended prevention program details fit seamlessly into the existing socio-economic adolescent base?
Do the recommended teen prevention techniques apply in various settings
Are the recommended solutions feasible?
Are the recommended solutions applicable in both the present and future circumstances?
By means of the program information obtained as well as reviews obtained from extant literature (Hutchins, 1999), the following key points were derived to be used by various practitioners in the teen pregnancy prevention programs (Gong, et al., 1999):
Emphasis on the development of youth
Utmost involvement of various family members as well as other adults
Involvement of the male gender in the issue.
Relevance of culture in the program
Campaigns targeting the entire community
Programs aimed at educating the youth on teen pregnancy
Programs to improve the level of employment among the youth
Provision of sex education among the youth
Inclusion of Outreach services in the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs
Offering of to Reproductive Health Services to the youth.
The success of the program is pegged on its ability to full address the issue of teen pregnancy with specific objective of ensuring that everybody is involved in the process. The following are the key features of the teen pregnancy programs.
Development of the youth
The teen pregnancy program must have a youth development subset among its ranks. This programs is intended at providing both support and encouragement to the youth in order for them to be fully equipped with the knowledge for them to be able to grow up to be responsible adults. This is through shaping and aiding them to be involved in relationships that are both meaningful and mature. It is important to note that young adults are in need of structures that a re necessary to enable them to have both the skills and the connections that are import for them to peacefully coexist with other members of the community. These should be formulated into programs that entail both educational and career opportunities that are aimed at providing protection to them against issues such as drugs and teen pregnancy. There is in fact a proven correlation that exists between education and pregnancy. Improved education of the girl child results in reduced rates of pregnancies as well as rates of birth (Kirby, D., 1997).
There has been a lot of interest in the level of youth development as well as the level of teen pregnancy and its related prevention efforts. Several national organizations as well as federal and local ones have been actively involved in the process of reducing the level of teenage pregnancy in the nation (National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 1998). The various federal organizations that are aiding in the reduction and prevention of teenage pregnancy include the following
Family and Youth Services Bureau-this is an organization which works under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of health and Human Services.
Community Coalition Partnership which is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program
The Arizona the Departments of Education and Health Services is also involved in various initiatives that are aimed at developing and implementing various youth development programs aimed at reducing the level of teen pregnancy in the state.
There are various critical components that are integral to the achievement of perfect youth development programs. These components bear the following characteristics.
They should be able to have various workers who are equipped with the prerequisite knowledge necessary to work with various youths
The programs must be able to acknowledge the fact that there are various resources necessary to be used in the process of planning and developing programs for the youth. The youth must therefore be part of the persons involved in the development of the components since the programs are directed towards them therefore it is them who know the exact components that are required.
The programs must be able to seamlessly integrate and collaborate with various community organizations as well as other government agencies, families and schools (Carnegie, 1996).
It is worth noting that one of the most effective methods of reducing teen pregnancy is the provision of service learning. This is achieved when community service is combined with both experiential learning processes as well as disciplined reflection. An evaluation of the service learning initiatives from the numerous amount of data collected nationwide provides some of the most compelling and consistent evidence of the fact that the inclusion of the youth development programs is an effective method of reducing teen pregnancy ( Philliber and Allen, 1992).
The service learning programs have an added advantage of reducing other problems in the youth such as school suspension, immorality and drug abuse among others.
Involvement of the family as well as other adults
It is important to note that while some of the programs surveyed involved the aspects of family and caring adult's involvement in the issue of teenage pregnancy, a good number did not have this aspect. The need for these programs to have a broader perspective makes it necessary to ensure that there is a dimension of both family and adult involvement. This is because strengthened family bonds as well as enhanced parenting styles are important in the provision of both contraceptive and reproductive services to the teenagers (Moore et al., 1995).
The integral role of the family is necessary in the provision of guidance to adolescent pregnancy. The recommended strategies of reducing teenage pregnancy can be complemented by means of family involvement (Moore et al., 1995).below is a series of factors that are meant to help in reducing the risk of adolescent pregnancy.
Having parent who have a high level of education and income
Having parents who have a strong opinion regarding the need of abstinence and peotected sex
Teenagers who are involved in family relationships which are supportive (Miller, 1998).
Teenagers who are involved in various activities involving their parents' participation
It is also important to take note of the following factors that can lead to an increased level of risk of adolescent pregnancy.
Strict parent who are overcontrolling
Low socio-economic status
Sexually active siblings
A lack of religious affiliation as pointed out by Kirby (1997).
Earlier exposure to violence or some forms of abuse.
It is therefore importance to include both parents and the entire family in the various teenage prevention programs. This is important in ensuring that the life opportunities of the pregnant and parenting teenagers are enhanced as well as those of the infants born by the teenagers (Hanson, 1992).