By Evelyn Kappeler
Office of Adolescent Health
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health
Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded teen pregnancy prevention grants to support the replication of teen pregnancy prevention programs that have been shown to be effective through rigorous research as well as the testing of new, innovative approaches to combating teen pregnancy. Multiple offices across HHS worked collaboratively to ensure that these funds were competitively awarded and were based on sound evidence. The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) supports $100 million in Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) grants across 102 grantees. Of this money, $75 million supports 75 grantees to implement programs proven effective through rigorous evaluation to reduce teen pregnancy and risk factors underlying teen pregnancy and $15.2 million supports 19 grantees to implement research and demonstration programs to develop, replicate, refine, and test additional models and innovative strategies for preventing teen pregnancy. The remaining $9.8 million of the OAH TPP funds support eight community-wide teen pregnancy prevention projects funded in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In issuing the TPP grant funds, OAH collaborated closely with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) as they awarded 13 grants through the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) to test innovative approaches to reduce teen pregnancy and repeat pregnancy.
Over the course of the first year of funding, all OAH TPP grantees have conducted a thoughtful planning and piloting process. This has allowed OAH to work closely with these grantees to ensure that they have a well designed program and evaluation, as well as strong partnerships in their community to promote future success. OAH continues to collaborate with other offices within the Department to ensure that strong technical assistance and coordination occurs for all grantees funded to address teen pregnancy prevention. OAH is also partnering closely with the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation to continue to maintain a systematic evidence review process in order to further build the evidence base in this field.
Across HHS, there is a significant commitment to evaluation for the TPP efforts. A multi-layered, coordinated approach is being used to evaluate at both the local and national level. Evaluation findings from the TPP program can greatly enhance and fill gaps in the existing research and evaluation literature. Moving forward, HHS will play an instrumental role in putting our best science to work in addressing the problem of teen pregnancy while recognizing that we still have more to learn. This is critical to ensuring that programs can be replicated effectively and to expanding our evidence base of what works and what does not, so that we can improve the effectiveness of programs and target resources appropriately.
For more information contact Allison Roper or call (240) 453-2806 or Jessica Jordan or call (240) 453-2808 or visit the Office of Adolescent Health.