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National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Developing a Learning Agenda to Address the Needs of Young Parents in Care.

Kuhns, C., Dworsky, A., & Richardson, A.
Type new
Journal Article
Year published new

Urban Institute


For adolescents, becoming a parent presents both challenges and opportunities. Young parents must navigate both the normative developmental tasks of adolescence and adult responsibilities of caring for a child. At the same time, becoming a parent can also be a transformative experience, motivating adolescents to refocus their priorities, complete their education, and build a better future for themselves and their children. Access to services and supports is essential for adolescent parents to be successful and their young families to thrive. This is no less true for parenting young people in foster care (hereafter referred to as “in care”). Yet child welfare systems are not typically structured to provide those young people and their children the services and supports they need. For example, caseworkers and foster parents are generally not trained to work with adolescents who are parents, placement options for parenting young people and their children are often limited, and data on parenting young people and/or their children may not be collected. This brief describes the initial stages of developing a learning agenda focused on the needs of parenting young people in care and lessons learned through the process.