Pregnant Teens in Foster Care: Concepts, Issues, and Challenges in Conducting Research on Vulnerable Populations

Lieberman, L. D.,
Bryant, L. L.,
Boyce, K.,
Beresford, P.
Year Published: 2014
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Journal of Public Child Welfare
Volume: 8

Issue: 2
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group

Teens in foster care give birth at more than twice the rate of other teens. They are also at greater risk for poorer health, educational, and financial outcomes, and for having their own children placed in care. While unique challenges exist for these vulnerable teens and babies, research on such populations, particularly within the systems that serve them, is limited. In this article, the authors describe a demonstration project at Inwood House, a residential foster care agency in New York City, from 2000 to 2005, at the same time the Administration for Children’s Services was exploring policy and practice changes for this population. The purpose of the project was to gather data about pregnant teens in foster care that would inform the agency’s own practice, and also provide insight to aid the NYC foster care system in serving this special population. The research design and implementation issues, descriptive data, and experiences presented here provide lessons for improving the evidence base to meet the needs of pregnant teens in care. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: Lisa D. Lieberman, Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Montclair State University, 1 Normal Avenue, UN4230, Montclair, NJ 07043; E-mail:, Website:
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