Online Program

Exploring strengths of an interdisciplinary team in case management of young families in Massachusetts

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bridget Larson, MPH, Office of Adolescent Health and Youth Development, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Sophie Godley, MPH, Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Justine Egan, MPH, Office of Adolescent Health and Youth Development, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Lissette Gil-Sanchez, Office of Adolescent Health and Youth Development, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Background: Though Massachusetts experiences lower birth rates to adolescent mothers than the national average, many young families, especially those from low-income, vulnerable communities, continue to experience poor health and social outcomes. Research suggests that a youth development program model can reduce adolescent pregnancy while also improving outcomes such as educational engagement and resiliency. Few programs have systematically integrated health and educational support for pregnant and parenting youth. Identifying program model strengths and weaknesses is essential for developing robust strategies for working with this special population.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has funded five community-based organizations since 2010 to provide young families with team-based wraparound case-management services to pursue three goals: achievement of individualized educational and vocational goals; improving infant health and development; and delay of subsequent pregnancy.

Methods: Six focus groups were held (22 total participants with varied program staffing roles) to assess perceptions of which components of the program had served agencies and participants best, and to flag potential improvements. Groups were facilitated by an independent consultant, and providers were assured confidentiality to encourage openness. Results: Themes that emerged in describing model strengths: flexibility, integration of nursing and education staff, participant-directed outcomes, wraparound model, and whole-family orientation. Themes that emerged in describing programmatic challenges: significant mental health and housing needs, limitations around city/town residency, paperwork burden, lack of data sharing with program, need of staff support systems.

Conclusions: Implications for research and practice include further exploration of outcome-based intervention strategies for young families and refinement of existing models.

Learning Areas:

Clinical medicine applied in public health
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health administration or related administration
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify key elements to providing effective and high quality case management services to pregnant and parenting young people.

Keyword(s): Reproductive Planning, Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the co-principle epidemiologist working on the evaluation of the Massachusetts Pregnant and Parenting Teen Initiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.