October 2008

Grant Results

SUMMARY

In 2006, researchers from Hispanas Organized for Political Equality conducted a survey of 43 Latino teen pregnancy prevention programs across the country to understand better the most effective ways to reach Latinas, and the main challenges that these programs face.

Key Findings
The researchers reported the following findings in the report National Scan of Latina Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs.

Effective Outreach Methods

  • Culture. Creatively reach young Latinas by incorporating prevention messages in Hispanic traditions and by instilling cultural pride.
  • Language. Deliver bilingual programming, including bilingual educators and bilingual materials.
  • Peer-to-peer education. Use teen-led education, especially bilingual teen-led education.

Program Challenges

  • Funding. Programs consistently needed more funding to sustain their efforts.
  • Language. Programs lacked bilingual educators, and when bilingual services were available, they were expensive.
  • High turnover of program staff and participants. Programs often became unstable because of staff turnover. They could not provide long-term services because of participant turnover.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through an unsolicited grant of $25,000.

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THE PROBLEM

Latina teenagers have a higher pregnancy rate than do other teenagers (51 percent versus 35 percent, respectively, in 2000), according to a fact sheet from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Little was known about effective pregnancy prevention programs for Latino youth.

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RWJF STRATEGY

RWJF also supported the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy with a series of grants (ID#s 029111, 031008, 035270, 041210, and 050963).

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THE PROJECT

Based in Los Angeles, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) is a nonprofit organization working to improve personal growth, prosperity and political clout for Latinas.

Researchers from HOPE surveyed program managers of 43 Latino teen pregnancy prevention programs in 23 states with a high population of Latinos and/or high rates of teenage pregnancy. They conducted telephone interviews with some program managers, and others completed the survey by e-mail.

The survey sought to identify effective outreach methods to teens and challenges the programs faced. It covered administrative data (e.g., number of clients per year and number of staff) and program specifics (e.g., tactics, methods of evaluation, challenges and advice). The researchers published their findings in a report, National Scan of Latina Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs (May 2007). See the Bibliography for details.

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FINDINGS

The researchers reported the following findings in National Scan of Latina Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs.

Effective Outreach Methods

Program managers reported the following methods as effective in reducing teen pregnancy among Latinas. However, they did not have quantifiable data to support the effectiveness of these methods; less than 1 percent of the programs conducted formal evaluations.

  • Culture. Creatively reach young Latinas by incorporating prevention messages in Hispanic traditions such as quinceañera ceremonies (a celebration of a girl's 15th birthday) and by instilling cultural pride.
  • Language. Deliver bilingual programming, including through bilingual educators and bilingual materials.
  • Peer-to-peer education. Use teen-led education, especially bilingual teen-led education.
  • Start in middle school. Begin conversations about sexuality in middle school and provide resources through high school.
  • Parental involvement. Foster dialogue between teenagers and parents. However, program staff had difficultly keeping parents involved.
  • Male involvement. Target adolescent Latino males with programs focused on personal responsibility for sexual activity.
  • Personal development. Use goal setting, decision-making strategies and other personal development tactics with Latina teenagers.

Program Challenges

Program managers reported the following program challenges but had little or no quantifiable supporting data:

  • Funding. Programs consistently needed more funding to sustain their efforts.
  • Language. Programs lacked bilingual educators. When bilingual services were available, they were expensive.
  • High turnover of program staff and participants. Programs often became unstable because of staff turnover. They could not provide long-term services because of participant turnover.
  • Family participation. The stigma of discussing sexuality was a significant obstacle in getting parents to participate in teen pregnancy prevention programs with their teenagers.
  • Facilities. Classroom and outdoor space for programs was limited. Getting teenagers to programs that serve large geographical areas but had one central facility was challenging.
  • General curriculum versus targeted curriculum. The existing curriculum was designed for the general teen audience; program managers believed that a curriculum targeted to Latina/o teenagers would be more effective.

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AFTER THE GRANT

The researchers used project findings to train Latina professionals and Latina youth about preventing teenage pregnancy.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

National Scan of Latina Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

Grantee

Hispanas Organized for Political Equality-California (Los Angeles,  CA)

  • Amount: $ 25,000
    Dates: January 2006 to December 2006
    ID#:  056300

Contact

Audrey Diaz
(213) 622-9549
youthleadership@latinas.org

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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.)

Reports

Diaz A, Cruces M, Medina D, Montes C and Mornick M. National Scan of Latina Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs. Los Angeles: Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, 2007.

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Report prepared by: Robert Crum
Reviewed by: Lori De Milto
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Risa Lavizzo-Mourey