Teen mums set to get ‘life coaching’

Teenage mothers are set to get several years of one-on-one ‘life coaching’ from dedicated nurses, under new plans to be announced.

Pregnant girls under the age of 21 will get support from new “nurse practitioners”, according to proposals.

Support

Findings from pilot schemes in 60 areas across the country suggested that young women who received dedicated support were far less likely to smoke, have a second child and split up with the father of their baby.

Breast-feeding rates were also improved, and nurses were able to organise child care and other support from family members.

An undisclosed source challenged the Tory claim that Britain is a broken society.

Broken

The source told the Daily Telegraph: “Britain is not broken, but there are people who need a bit more support.

“This intensive, one-on-one life coaching by a specialist, dedicated nurse who they know and trust can make all the difference to a woman’s life, and ensure that her child does not become dependent on welfare in the future.”

According to reports, the scheme could be implemented in full within the next five years if Labour is re-elected.

Failing

Britain currently has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe raising concerns about the Government’s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy.

Ministers have come under fire recently after figures showed that its £280 million Teenage Pregnancy Strategy was set to fall desperately short of its target to cut rates in half by 2010.

Brenda Almond, Emeritus Professor of Moral and Social Philosophy at the University of Hull, criticised the Government for carrying on with the same policies to tackle teen pregnancy.

She said, “instead of accepting its mistake and trying a different approach, the Government continues to cling to its discredited strategy of dishing out sex advice, pills and condoms.

Family Breakdown

Prof Almond, writing in the Daily Mail, also highlighted family breakdown as a key factor in the rise of teen pregnancies.

She warned: “this collapse of traditional family life has been fuelled by deliberate Government policies, such as the end of tax relief for married couples and the introduction of financial incentives in the welfare system for lone parents.

“For make no mistake: despite what the Government might think, being brought up in a stable, domestic environment is by far the best way a child can learn about the importance of fidelity, restraint and personal responsibility”, she wrote.

Figures

The Government aimed to cut the teenage pregnancy rate by 50 per cent in the years between 1998 and 2010.

But the latest figures show only a 13.3 per cent decline over the ten years from 1998 to 2008 despite expenditure of £280 million.

And the real number of teenage conceptions may be masked by the easy availability of the morning-after pill.

Now the Government has promised a ‘new’ plan, Teenage Pregnancy Strategy: Beyond 2010, which involves piloting one-on-one sexual health and contraception consultations.

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