Target teenage pregnancy via family support
Deprivation is at the root of the teenage pregnancy problem, just as it plays a major role in heart disease, smoking and obesity.
Fixing this is a tall order.
We know that children of lawyers and doctors often follow their parents into the same career, so why are we surprised to discover criminals and pregnant teenagers are no different? Holland, which has less deprivation, has just 20% of our teenage pregnancies and single-parent families. But then, the Dutch nanny state made it illegal for under-18s not to live with their parents.
International evidence shows that parenting is the crucial common denominator and that active family support in disadvantaged communities from the early years will yield a national dividend. Sure Start is a shaky step in the right direction but is just a fraction of the effort that is needed.
From Dr John Havard, Saxmundham, Suffolk