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Pregnancies Haunt Foster Children

Curtis McMillen. Photo courtesy of Washington University in St. Louis.

University of Washington in St. Louis social work professor Curtis McMillen, DSW, is quoted extensively in this article about an epidemic of pregnancies among foster children who are in or just aged out of the foster care system.

McMillen completed a study on the issue in 2005. That study examined 400 Missouri female foster children aged 17 to 19.

At age 17 more than one out of five reported having a baby or being pregnant at one time. By the age of 19 that figure had climbed to 53 percent.

“It’s sort of known about but rarely talked about in a public forum in Missouri,” McMillen said.

Missouri authorities are taking a more active approach to the problem. For instance, the Washington University School of Medicine’s teen outreach medical clinic got a $2 million federal grant to do a 5-year program to prevent pregnancy among foster children.

To learn more about how social workers help, visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Adoptions and Foster Care Web page by clicking here.

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