Teen Pregnancy Prevention Fund
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Fund provides financial support for current initiatives that address teen pregnancy prevention and unsafe sexual practices of teens in Washington County, MD.
Grants will be directed to programs and education addressing Strategic Community Impact Plan Goal 22, specifically targeting a decrease in teen pregnancy and unsafe sexual practices in teens. Preference may be given to organizations or programs that offer education and programming to parents of pre-teens and teens.
Suggested amount for grant application is $600. However, requests for other amounts will not be disqualified. Applicant organizations must be based in and primarily serving Washington County, Maryland, and have a current 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS. Organizations may apply for funding for more than one program; however, each program requires a separate grant application. The 2017 grants are now closed.
Why care about teen pregnancy?
Washington County’s vital statistics demonstrate that our county has consistently ranked as having the 3rd or 4th highest teen birth rate in Maryland for many years. While the National and State and Washington County teen birth rates have shown dramatic improvement there is still much to be done to impact this issue.
“Compared to women who delay childbearing, teen mothers are less likely to complete high school and more likely to end up on welfare. The children of teen mothers are at significantly increased risk of low birth weight and pre-maturity, mental retardation, poverty, growing up without a father, welfare dependency, poor school performance, insufficient health care, inadequate parenting, and abuse and neglect.”
“Parents have a very important influence on whether their teenagers become pregnant or cause a pregnancy. Parents need to know that when it comes to young people’s decisions about sex, their influence has not been lost to peers and popular culture. They are powerful and they can use this power in sound, helpful ways.” Organizations or programs that offer educational seminars, workshops and printed materials that provide parents practical information about what they can do to help their children delay sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy are needed in Washington County.
Three nonprofit organizations received money from the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Fund to support programs and education addressing teen pregnancy and unsafe sexual practices in teens. The nonprofits included Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, Community Free Clinic and Together with Families/Washington County Family Center.
Boys and Girls Club of Washington County received a $500 grant for SMART Girls, a program providing guidance on healthy attitudes and lifestyles through group activities, field trips, mentoring and college visits for girls’ ages 8-17. SMART Girls offers club members a safe setting to address health and social issues unique to them and build the necessary skills to resist negative influences such as drugs, alcohol and premature sexual activity.
The Community Free Clinic will use their $600 grant for SWAG (Services We All Get), which focuses on addressing the high risk behaviors of Washington County teenagers between 13-19 years old. This free program includes education and outreach, birth control, pregnancy testing, STD testing and treatment, emergency contraception and LGBT safe space in a strictly confidential, non-judgmental atmosphere.
The grant of $600 for Together with Families/Washington County Family Center will go towards their Teen Parent Panel that educates teens and adolescents about the rights, responsibilities and realities of teen parenting, as well as delaying or reducing sexual activity. The Teen Parent Panel consists of young parents who have volunteered to share their message of the difficulties and challenges they face as a teen parent.