January 2002

Grant Results

National Program

New Jersey Health Initiatives Program

SUMMARY

AD House addressed the special barriers to access to health and social services faced by inner-city pregnant teens.

Through a partnership with St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark, project staff at the AD House developed a comprehensive prenatal care clinic and social services program called AD MOMS for at-risk pregnant adolescent girls in Newark, East Orange, Orange, and Irvington.

The clinic, which opened in January 1993, was incorporated into AD House's existing pregnant teens and teen mothers program. AD House used peer outreach workers — at-risk mothers themselves — to identify pregnant teens and recruit them into the program.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Jersey Health Initiatives national program (for more information see Grant Results).

Key Results

  • With the help of 16 outreach workers, staff recruited 315 pregnant teens.
  • Of these 315 recruits, 262 enrolled in the program, exceeding original targets for three-year enrollment of 112 teens.
  • 95 percent of the babies delivered by mothers in the program were of normal birthweight.
  • More than two-thirds of the AD MOMS who delivered babies decided to return to school.

Funding
RWJF supported this project with a grant of $248,522 from October 1992 to September 1995.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
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THE PROBLEM

Essex County, in which Newark is located, has the highest rates in New Jersey of mothers receiving no prenatal care, children with low birthweight, infant mortality, and mothers on welfare. The county also has the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the state. Despite the availability of healthcare services provided in local hospitals, clinics, and family centers, the rates of low birthweight and infant mortality and morbidity have remained high during the past decade. A significant number of pregnant women continue to receive little or no prenatal care, a problem that is especially acute among adolescents.

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THE PROJECT

AD House, established in 1981, is a non-traditional therapeutic center for adolescents ages 10–18, serving Newark, East Orange, and Irvington. AD House helps adolescents improve their self-esteem, self-direction, and self-control. Programming is aimed toward prevention for adolescents at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behavior.

Through a partnership with St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark, project staff at AD House developed a comprehensive prenatal care clinic and social services program for at-risk pregnant adolescent girls in Newark, East Orange, Orange, and Irvington. The clinic, which opened in January 1993, was incorporated into AD House's existing pregnant teens and teen mothers program.

A special feature of the project was its use of teen peer outreach workers to identify pregnant teens and recruit them into the project. Project staff hired and trained 16 young women between ages 16 and 23 to help recruit pregnant teens to the program. Many of these outreach workers were themselves teen parents. Outreach workers distributed flyers and posters to more than 1,000 site locations in Newark, East Orange, Orange, and Irvington. These workers also had personal encounters with individuals at public places such as bus stops, supermarkets, libraries, and welfare centers.

The project, called AD MOMS, offered prenatal health services and an educational program in a comfortable, home-like setting. Services included on-site prenatal obstetrical care, transportation, child care, incentives, stipends, peer relationships, pediatric follow-up care, education programs and referrals. Pregnant teens also received information on parenting skills, nutrition, substance abuse, sexuality, self-esteem, healthy lifestyles, home safety, breast feeding, and parenting in conjunction with teen fathers.

Most services were provided on-site at AD House, including primary obstetrical care delivered in a non-threatening setting by a member of St. Michael's staff. St. Michael's also served as a backup for diagnostic testing and management of high-risk pregnancies, and provided newborn and pediatric follow-up. After delivery, the mother and baby were registered in the Healthy Start Program of New Jersey, which provides health care services for Medicaid-eligible pregnant women and children under age 2.

In its second year, the project received $63,000 from the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services for an AD KIDS program. These funds enabled the project to provide comprehensive health care services to children under two years of age. AD House was also recommended by Health Mothers/Health Babies of Essex County (an Essex County program) to receive $800,000 in federal funding to establish a model community-based Healthy Start Adolescent Family Resource Center.

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RESULTS

AD MOMS had the following results:

  • With the help of the 16 outreach workers, staff recruited 315 pregnant teens.
  • Of these 315 recruits, 262 enrolled in the program, exceeding original targets for three-year enrollment of 112 teens.
  • 95 percent of the babies delivered by mothers in the program were of normal birthweight.
  • More than two-thirds of the AD MOMS who delivered babies decided to return to school.

The AD KIDS program had the following results:

  • Project staff recruited 158 infants and toddlers for the program;
  • Of these 158 recruits, 64 enrolled in the program. Twenty-four of these infants were enrolled by AD MOMS participants who had delivered with the program. The remaining 40 were recruited by project outreach workers.

Communications

Radio and television spots ran on various local stations to publicize the project. (See the Bibliography for details.)

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AFTER THE GRANT

AD House has continued to focus on two objectives that are crucial to lowering the rate of maternal morbidity, infant mortality, and low birthweight babies: (1) improving access to health care services by increasing awareness among at-risk adolescents; and (2) refining the delivery of health education to at-risk adolescents.

The first objective is addressed through assigning an outreach worker, who is also a student, to each of the 14 Newark schools where she can reach adolescents on this issue. AD House is addressing the second objective by improving and packaging information suitable for classes, groups, mothers, pregnant teens, sexually active and non-sexually active youth, substance abusers, and others.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Prenatal Care and Social Services for At-Risk Pregnant Adolescents

Grantee

AD House (Newark,  NJ)

  • Amount: $ 248,522
    Dates: October 1992 to September 1995
    ID#:  020966

Contact

Renee McGhee
(201) 372-0457

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Radio Coverage

Radio Public Service Announcement: WBLS, New York, N.Y. December 1992 and 1994.

Radio Public Service Announcement: WKRS, New York, N.Y. December 1992.

Radio Public Service Announcement: WNJR, Newark, N.J. December 1992, and December 1994 to December 1995.

Television Public Service Announcement: Suburban Cablevision, Newark, N.J. January 11, 1993 to January 25, 1993.

Television Public Service Announcement: Cablevision, Newark, N.J. Continuous billboard announcement ran for one week beginning January 5, 1993.

Television Public Service Announcement: Channel 34, East Orange High School, January 1993 to December 1993.

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Report prepared by: Robert Mahon
Reviewed by: Patricia Patrizi
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Pamela Dickson

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