Photograph of Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
Action Alert
Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) Reauthorization Sign-On Letter

PAF provides vital support services to empower young parents and their children to thrive.
 

Updated June 24, 2020

Dear Member of Congress:

The undersigned organizations express our support for the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) and urge Congress to reauthorize and appropriate funds to the program. This vital program directed to students who are pregnant and parenting and to pregnant women who have experienced sexual violence is currently funded at $25 million annually and is set to expire September 30, 2019.

The Pregnancy Assistance Fund is a competitive grant program that funds States, Territories, and Tribal entities so they can provide a seamless network of support services to youth who are pregnant and parenting and/or pregnant women who experience sexual violence. PAF grantees subaward their moneys to institutions of higher education, high schools, community services centers, attorneys general, or a combination thereof. These subgrantees use their PAF funds to establish, maintain, or operate health, education support, and human services support services for students who are pregnant and parenting, improve services for pregnant women who have experienced sexual violence, and increase awareness concerning the services available to the program’s beneficiaries.

Youth who are pregnant and parenting face many barriers to enrolling, attending, and succeeding in high school and college, such as discrimination, the challenge of juggling schoolwork with parenting, and a lack of access to health services and other concrete supports for themselves and their children. Failure to provide full supports to student parents so that they may complete their educations has severe short- and long-term consequences for the economic success and well-being of their families and communities, as well as our nation.

On the other hand, ensuring the success of students who are pregnant and parenting matters, not only for them but also for their children, who are more likely to thrive if their parents graduate.

Participants in State and Tribal PAF projects have experienced positive outcomes including improvements in high school graduation, acceptance into Institutions of Higher Education, reductions in dropping out of high school, and reductions in subsequent unintended pregnancies.

Compared to youth who are pregnant and parenting who did not receive services through the PAF program, program participants are more likely to graduate from high school (94% vs. 51%), less likely to drop out of high school (8% vs. 30%), and less likely to report a subsequent unintended pregnancy (6% vs. 20%).

In addition, pregnant women are at heightened risk of sexual violence. In response, some States and Tribal entities have elected to direct PAF grant funds to deliver intervention services (such as hotline services), accompaniment services (such as through court procedures), and supportive social services to these survivors of violence.

PAF is the only federal program targeted uniquely to youth who are pregnant and parenting. Also, the program fills services gaps that pregnant women harmed by sexual violence encounter. Over the ten-year life of PAF, 32 States and seven Tribal entities have provided critical supports to over 94,000 youth who are pregnant and parenting and pregnant women. PAF is helping States and Tribal entities better serve youth and women facing unique challenges. The program merits continuation.

Sincerely,

 Signers as of 06/24/2020

 National Scope Organizations

African American Juvenile Justice Project

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Sexual Health Association

Ascend at the Aspen Institute

Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Children’s Home Society of America

Fathers and Families Coalition of America

Health 4 Hire, Inc.

Healthy Schools Network

Healthy Teen Network

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health

March of Dimes

National Center for Student Parent Programs

National Crittenton

National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund

National Network for Youth

National Organization for Women

National Women’s Political Caucus

Nurse-Family Partnership

Physicians for Reproductive Health

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Power to Decide

Rights4Girls

R Street Institute

School-Based Health Alliance

SchoolHouse Connection

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)

SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators

Society for Public Health Education

Upstream USA

 State, Tribal, and Local Scope Organizations (in order by state)

 Alaska Children’s Trust (AK)

University of Hawaii Bridge to Hope (HI)

University of Hawaii Student Parents at Manoa (HI)

Eyes Open Iowa (IA)

Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (LA)

Baltimore City Health Department (MD)

Family Services of the Merrimack Valley (MA)

Roca, Inc. (MA)

Berrien County Health Department (MI)

Big Brothers Big Sisters Michigan Capital Region (MI)

Child and Family Charities (MI)

Eaton Regional Education Service Agency (MI)

Gianna House (MI)

Lansing School District (MI)

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MI)

Michigan League for Public Policy (MI)

Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH) (MI)

Stand with Trans (MI)

Starfish Family Services (MI)

Success Virtual Learning Centers of Michigan (MI)

Teen Health Mississippi (MS)

CSKT Healthy Young Parent Program (MT)

BOND (Building Our Noncustodial Dads) (NC)

Rosemary’s Babies Co (OH)

Successful Healthy Children (OH)

J.A.M.E.S. Inc. (OK)

Modus (OK)

Oklahoma City County Health Department (OK)

Strong Tomorrows (OK)

Take Control Initiative (OK)

Tulsa Health Department (OK)

Chemeketa Community College (OR)

Children First for Oregon (OR)

Klamath Community College (OR)

Squires (OR)

Philadelphia Department of Health (PA)

Planned Parenthood Keystone (PA)

Women’s Law Project (PA)

West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation (RI)

Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina (SC)

Children’s Trust of South Carolina (SC)

Fact Forward (SC)

Family Outreach of Horry County (SC)

Middle Tyger Community Center (SC)

Voices for Vermont’s Children (VT)

Virginia Department of Health’s Stronger Parents Brighter Futures Program (VA)

Walworth County Educational Consortium Alternative High School (WI)

Further Information

 Healthy Teen Network

Bob Reeg

Power to Decide

Andrea Kane

Rachel Fey