In 2013, there were 274, 641 babies born to females ages 15-19. Nearly 81% of these births occurred outside of marriage. Although the teen birth rate has been declining over recent years, the U.S. rate is higher than that of many other developed countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom.
Not all teen births are first births either. In 2013, one in six births to 15-19-year-olds were to females who already had one or more babies. Teen births vary widely by ethnicity: 9 percent of white adolescent females, 18 percent of black adolescent females, and 20 percent of Hispanic adolescent females have delivered one or more babies.
In March 2009, Eastern Michigan University initiated the Wraparound Project, a strengths-based, individualized team process, to serve young parents who were at-risk for experiencing at least one of the following: homelessness - court involvement - foster care - mental health issues.
In the Wraparound Project a Circle of Support (Child and Family Team) is formed, comprised of the client (and family), client's natural supports, and formal agencies. This team creates a plan that will use the client's and family's strengths to achieve goals and objectives identified by the client and family. With the Circle of Support and the strengths-based, individualized plan, the client and /or family receiving services will become more independent and form a network of natural supports.
Wraparound helps teen parents with their unique situations, including: becoming independent, finding a place to live, graduating high-school or getting a GED, learning parenting and life skills, getting a job, connecting them with services (e.g. health, food, and mental health assistance), building a support system, and/or anything the teen parent voices as a need.
This innovative solution to a persistent social problem does not claim to reduce teen pregnancy rates but rather is designed to help teen parents avoid even greater risk.