Featured Project
Map 2 Success

Improving the support network for Baltimore City young people, ages 12-24, who are pregnant and parenting.

Where We Started

Baltimore City’s teen birth rate (32.6 births per 1,000 females aged 15–19) is more than double Maryland’s 15.9 teen birth rate and represents 20% of all the Maryland teen births.

The research is clear: providing supports and services to young people who are pregnant and parenting supports and empowers them to

  • complete their educations,
  • achieve financial stability, and
  • nurture the positive development of their children.

We need the services, but we also need these services to be appealing and tailored to meet young parents’ needs, or else they will never make it in the door, let alone reap the benefits of the services.

What It Is

Map 2 Success is a federally-funded (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Population Affairs, Pregnancy Assistance Fund, or HHS, OPA, PAF), city-wide project focused on improving educational, health, and social outcomes for pregnant and parenting youth between the ages of 12-24.

We are most appreciative of the opportunity to partner with Maryland Department of Health, the Baltimore City Health Department, and the B’more for Healthy Babies initiative.

Logo for Maryland Department of Health
Logo for Baltimore City Health Department
Logo for B'more for Healthy Babies

The project aims to reach 300-600 young people who are pregnant and parenting in Baltimore City, by improving the provision, linkages, and accessibility of services.

The project uses a social-ecological approach (there’s that idea of Youth 360º again!) to promote health, addressing factors at the policy, community, organizational, interpersonal, and individual levels. Overarching it all is the commitment to undo structural racism omnipresent at every level.

As a partner on this project, we have focused on access and use of services and supports: learning more about how young people who are pregnant and parenting access and use the services available to them. As part of our assessment, we conducted interviews with service organizations and young fathers.

Later, we engaged in discussions through digital focus groups to understand co-parenting experiences. Here, we focused on two key audiences:

  1. youth who are pregnant and parenting in Baltimore City, and
  2. the parents of co-parenting youth in Baltimore City.
Protect Your Rights

As part of our work on this project, we focused on helping young people who are pregnant and parenting know their rights under Title IX. Through a series of infographic posters, wallet cards, and social media campaigns, we spread the word on excused absence.

Discrimination against pregnant and parenting students is, unfortunately, alive and well, despite the fact that their rights to an education are protected under Title IX.

If you’re looking for print copies, we may have some wallet cards and/or posters available…please ask!

Why It Matters

Youth who are pregnant and parenting are often isolated, unsupported, and unsure where and how to access resources.

If they don’t know where to go or how to use the services, they can’t benefit from them.

Knowing where to go and how to navigate the complicated systems is critical for a positive and health outcome.

 

What We Found

Over the course of the project, partners in Baltimore City served 622 total young people and 219 of their children.

Partners successfully:

  • Met material needs of expectant and parenting youth and students 467 times.
  • Referred youth to parenting education services 383 times.
  • Referred youth to childcare services 147 times.

From the Fall of 2018 to the Fall of 2019, the average number of connections increased from 5.44 to 8 for each partnered agency. The mean level of collaboration increased from 2.69 to 3 on a 0-5 scale. These findings indicated increased strength of community partnerships.

For more findings from this project, check out our Map 2 Success Program Outcomes.

What They Said

Thanks to the connections, Map 2 Success partner agencies reported increased connections.

 More and more people are coming out to our monthly events. We even had two grandparents came [sic] out last time.

We used to not know what happened to our clients after referring them [to other agencies], now we get feedbacks so it’s easier for us.

 What’s Next

Our next focus for this project is to share what we learned, so that agencies working with these youth populations can find more ways to increase the access and use of these services.

The Map 2 Success project was supported by Award No.1 SP1AH000065-01-00 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Population Affairs (OPA), Maryland Department of Health (MDH), and Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of OPA, HHS, MDH, or BCHD.

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