The Childrenís Aid Society Carerra Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program has enjoyed over ten years of success and counting. While we never equate our program as a quick-fix to the issue of adolescent pregnancy, we do like to measure our success. In addition to the following article, the most up-to-date articles can be viewed on the Childrenís Aid Society web site.
Baltimore Health Department
October 21, 2022
BALTIMORE, MD -Today, Health Commissioner Dr. Peter Beilenson announced the lowest teen birth rate recorded in Baltimore City's history. Births to teens have declined dramatically since 1960, when nearly one in five (191.3/1000) young women aged 15 -19 years gave birth, to less than one in twelve (83.1/1000) in 2001. This includes a reduction of 8.7% (from 95.6/1000) since 1999. In 1991, Baltimore ranked 8th among major cities for teen births in 2000, the latest year for which national rankings are available, the City ranked 16th.
Many factors could account for the decline in Baltimore City teen pregnancy rates, including improved access to reproductive health services for teens through school-based health clinics and the City's Healthy Teen Young Adults Center. Teen pregnancy prevention and youth development programs, which offer teens alternative options to early childbearing, are also cited as success stories in the City. Education and outreach that focuses on STD awareness and prevention may have an added effect of preventing unintended pregnancies too.
"The number of babies born to teens was of great concern when I was appointed the City's Health Commissioner in 1992," states Dr. Beilenson. "Although we have hit a high point in our battle against teen pregnancy, we still have a ways to go to get the City rate lower than the Maryland and U.S. rates. We need everyone-parents, teachers, clergy and even the media - to help teens realize the effects that teen pregnancy has on them and our communities."
Currently, the Baltimore City Health Department operates two Carrera Model after-school pregnancy prevention programs for African-American and Hispanic youth ages 11 and 12. The Carrera Program, created by Dr. Michael Carrera of the Children's Aid Society in New York City has been implemented in several states over the past decade and has been proven effective at decreasing pregnancy among its participants. The Carrera Program employs a holistic model encompassing seven components that support youth to develop to their full potential.
- Family Life and Sex Education
- Mental Health
- Creative Expression
- Individual Sports
- Medical Care
Dr. Carrera believes that when youth are supported in such a manner, responsible behaviors result, including responsible sexual behavior. Youth are encouraged to remain in the program through high school graduation.
"Baltimore City's Carrera Programs are the first to be supported by a municipality," states Dr. Beilenson. "We need more government agencies to take out-of-the box initiatives such as this one to reach our new generation of youth."
Baltimore Health Department