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Chapter 6.5. Coordination of Programs Serving Pregnant and Parenting Teens. Legislative findings and declarations   

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The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(a) Pregnancy of teens continues to be a serious problem in California. In 1984, 28,834 teens 18 years of age and under gave birth in California, including 891 who were 14 years of age or younger. Each year, over 58,000 California teens are either pregnant or parenting.

(b) Teen pregnancy is the point of entry into the system of public social services, and the point of exit from the school system, and the greatest single cause of school dropout for female pupils. Continued school enrollment is a deterrent to second pregnancies. Completion of school and acquisition of marketable skills also prevent long-term and costly dependency on the system of public social services.

(c) Local school districts vary in the amount of state and local fiscal resources to serve pregnant and parenting teens. In the last 20 years legislative enactments have created education-based categorical approaches to serving pregnant and parenting teens. These include schoolage and parent infant development programs, pregnant minor programs, employability programs, child development programs, dropout prevention programs, and family life education programs. The Legislature also has created health-based programs such as the adolescent family life program, perinatal access program, and community-based perinatal services.

(d) A comprehensive, coordinated, and integrated education, health, and employability program will result in a more efficient use of existing funds and prevent overlap and duplication of services.

(e) It is in the best interests of pregnant and parenting teens that school districts develop and implement a coordinated and integrated service plan for pregnant and parenting teens, in order to improve the delivery of services and continuity of education.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1613, Sec. 1.)