Pregnancy and parenthood in young people: strategy update

Reports on progress against aims and actions and sets out next steps.

Appendix A

The Pregnancy and Parenthood in Young People ( PPYP) Strategy

Empowering Scotland’s Young People

The Pregnancy and Parenthood in Young People Strategy aims to enable and empower Scotland’s young people, allowing them to achieve the best possible outcomes in their lives.

  • Young people will feel a sense of control over their own lives, allowing them to build self-efficacy and providing equality of opportunities for their futures.
  • Young people are enabled to have a full range of options whereby they can consider when, or if, parenthood will be part of their futures.

The Impact of Inequality

Although parenthood is a positive experience for many young people, it is associated with increased risk of a range of poor social, economic and health outcomes for most

Young people living in our most deprived communities are five times more likely to experience a pregnancy and 13 times more likely to continue a pregnancy as someone living in the more affluent areas of Scotland

Good quality, integrated support for young parents and their families will contribute to better engagement with support services and in the longer term greater engagement in education, training and employment. This in turn will contribute to improved health and social outcomes for young parents and their children

Schools are central to identifying the key indicators for risk of pregnancy at a young age.

These are:

  • Poor attendance at school
  • low attainment or achievement
  • few or no aspirations
  • free school meals entitlement

Supporting aspiration and ambition in young people is vital.

Evidence shows that education and engagement with learning are key interventions that help young people to plan for their future – including pregnancy and parenthood.

Supporting young mothers and fathers back into school or learning environments is important for preventing a rapid subsequent pregnancy and ensuring better outcomes for mother and child.

Appropriate early educational interventions in all settings, targeted at young people at risk of poor educational outcomes, will contribute to improved educational attainment and connectedness with education.

Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood ( RSHP) Education aims to encourage equality and mutual respect from an early age.

The provision of relationships, sexual health and parenthood education is acknowledged as a key intervention for supporting positive relationships and reducing pregnancy in young people.

Formal education is the only way of ensuring that all young people are provided with the knowledge they need from reliable sources.

Interventions such as RSHP should be combined with high-quality sexual health services and the provision of effective contraception.

Programmes with a parental involvement component can have a positive impact on young people’s knowledge and/or attitudes and improve parent-child communication

Young people should be adequately prepared for parenthood. Learning about nurture and attachment can equip young men and women to understand the needs of their children and the impact their interaction and communication has on the development of that child.

Young people who have conceived should be provided with objective, nonjudgmental information and support in order to make an informed choice about how they proceed with their pregnancy

Young women who become pregnant access antenatal and abortion services later than the general population.

Young women should have the information they need to identify they are pregnant at an early stage and that they are able to disclose to a trusted individual in order to access services as early in pregnancy as possible

Antenatal classes designed specifically for young women appears to improve contact with antenatal care

Information on local gestational time limits should be clear and made easily accessible to all health service providers as well as women accessing services.

All young parents and their babies should be provided with person-centred, safe and effective post natal care which meets their holistic needs

A whole family approach to increasing educational aspiration is important as a mother’s low educational aspirations for her daughter aged 10, is a risk factor for pregnancy before 18.

Young mothers / young women who become pregnant should be supported to stay in school or college until 18. Evidence suggests programmes with support for childcare are the most effective. Key workers have an important role providing support and helping the prevention of a subsequent pregnancy in adolescence

Evidence suggests a focus on employment and provision of jobs and higher earning for young mothers is associated with improved long term self sufficiency

Secure, permanent housing that is situated in their community is essential for enabling young parents to build networks of support and provide a positive family environment

Experiencing negative attitudes is harmful to young parents and can prevent them asking for help and support


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