The social exclusion report on teenage pregnancy (June 1999) stated that Britain had the worst record of teenage pregnancies in Europe with approximately 90,000 teenagers becoming pregnant every year. Every part of the country is affected, but the situation is worst in the poorest areas.
The multi-agency teenage pregnancy strategic partnership board is responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring of the local teenage pregnancy strategy. The board is co-chaired by the director of commissioning, performance and partnerships and a consultant in public health from NHS Croydon.
The Croydon teenage pregnancy strategy addresses three key themes:
- Better prevention and education of the causes of teenage pregnancies
- Better support for pregnant teenagers and teenage parents
- Joined up action at local level (which is complemented by action at regional and national level).
The key aims of the Croydon teenage pregnancy strategy are to:
- Provide local guidance, training, advice and support to enable all schools and youth services to develop and improve sex and relationship education to young people in line with national guidance and requirements;
- Develop a range of sexual health services for young people which meet best practice standards, and which are widely known about by young people;
- Develop targeted prevention programmes to reduce exclusion and disadvantage for socially excluded young people;
- Improve the health, education and life chances of pregnant teenagers and teenage parents and their children by co-ordinating and improving support from the antenatal through to the post-natal period, and increasing opportunities for education, employment and training;
- Involve young people in service developments and reviewing and evaluating services.