Every 154 minutes a South Carolina teen gives birth. Less than 50% will finish high school, increasing the likelihood that they will live in poverty and have unstable housing. Children born to young mothers are more likely to be premature or have a low birth weight, have lower educational performance, and are less likely to graduate and become teen parents. Teen parenting is part of the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Studies also show that young women in foster care are more likely to become homeless at an earlier age and drop out of school. Over 70 percent will become pregnant by 21.
While many research studies document the challenges pregnant and parenting teens and young women face, little attention has been paid to their successes and what support young mothers need to succeed. With the proper support, they can overcome system barriers and challenges to build safe, healthy, and prosperous lives for their families.