|Problem solution essays
|Problem solving Pregnancy Community Social change
From the interview with the social worker, the problem identified in the community is that the number of teenage pregnancies is too high. Teen pregnancy is a severe problem in rural Kentucky. In the United States, teen pregnancy costs taxpayers approximately 9.4 billion dollars (Akella, 2018). Furthermore, childbearing in teenagers causes a massive loss of taxpayers' revenue as a result of low educational attainment and low income among teen mothers (Akella, 2018). In rural Kentucky, 8 of 100 girls between the ages of 15 and 19, become pregnant, which when compared with the national average, is more than 50% more (Personal interview with a stakeholder). The chances of teens who become pregnant completing high school are very minimal; they are also unable to support themselves financially and may have to depend on assistance from family. The children born to teen mothers are likely to end up in foster care, which explains the high number of children in foster care in Kentucky. The children are also expected to have health problems in their childhood. They are likely to do poorly in school, and even the chances of living in neglect are high (Personal interview with a stakeholder).
Current Existing Change Efforts Within the Community
The interview had questions about the problem that identify the key behaviors, actors, and their consequences. The youth are the primary cause because of early sexual activity and not using contraceptives (Personal interview with a stakeholder). Parents and guardians also do not monitor their teen children enough as they should. The blame is also on the school system for the high number of teen pregnancies; it merely does not have enough comprehensive sexual education, and it also fails to reduce the rate of dropouts.
At the moment, there has been an implementation of a teen pregnancy prevention curriculum in rural Kentucky in rural high schools (Personal interview with a stakeholder). The curriculum aims to teach teenagers sex education. One cannot underestimate the program's impact; a report of the evaluation of the program indicates that students in schools with the program have a better understanding of the use of contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases. Nonetheless, the report also suggests that the program has not changed the students' attitudes towards abstinence, their sexual risk behaviors, nor their perceived ability to engage in sexual activities (Personal interview with a stakeholder). Another exciting effort to reduce the high number of teen pregnancies is access to family planning services. The state government has made it easier to access family planning services to curb the problem of teen pregnancy.
Driving and Restraining Forces that Will Influence the Community Change Effort
The involved forces in the community that may be keeping the situation unchanged include the government, the parents, the guardians, teachers and other people involved with the teenagers feeling that they may be unable to change the behaviors and attitudes of the teenagers towards sex (Personal interview with a stakeholder). Also, too little media coverage about teen pregnancy in the community and how it impacts the community as a whole may be a restraining force. Another force is that some people are worried that teaching about sex education may end encouraging it. Also, the belief that since it is not your child, then there is no need to be concerned (Personal interview with a stakeholder).
The driving forces that may be making things to change include the intervention programs being implemented in high schools teaching on sex education, STIs, teen pregnancy, and the impacts. There is a link between the growing awareness of teen pregnancy to other social problems, including poverty, health problems, school dropout, drug abuse, among others, may also be a driving force. The high number of teen mothers in the community, evident for anyone to notice, may also be a driving force towards change. Lastly, it is the debate in the community about teen pregnancy, and child welfare reform may be pushing for change (Personal interview with a stakeholder).
Feasibility Assessment of a Social Action Project to Address the Problem
The existing intervention program does not cover all teenagers in the community. Also, all schools are not included. Another more effective intervention program is needed. An assessment indicates that a comprehensive intervention whereby most behaviors of not only the teenagers but everyone in the community, are modified may be the most effective way of bringing change to the community and reducing the rate of teen pregnancy. Many people are affected by the problem. It is not just the teenagers; it includes the children born from the teen mothers, the teenagers themselves, the school system, the media, the human services and healthcare system, the state government and the federal government (Personal interview with a stakeholder). The problem exists because there is a lack of enough information on the negative impacts of teenage sexual activities, poor access to contraceptives, and a few optional activities for the teenagers to choose from. A social action project will not be too costly; when compared to the money spent on the consequences of teen pregnancy. The timeframe to implement an effective intervention should be between two months and one year.
This paper was a report of the interview with a social worker. The problem identified is teen pregnancy. The paper describes the problem in detail, showing what a serious problem it is in the community. The article then gives the existing efforts to tackle the social issue, which includes a current intervention program in schools. In conclusion, teen pregnancy is rampant in the community; despite the current interventions, there is still more that needs doing. The role that social workers play in reducing social problems in rural Kentucky not underestimated.
Akella, D. (Ed.). (2018). Socio-Cultural Influences on Teenage Pregnancy and Contemporary Prevention Measures. IGI Global.
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