California's Most Vulnerable Parents

Californias Most Vulnerable Parents

LOS ANGELES, NOVEMBER 12, 2013 – A new study linking California birth and child protective services (CPS) records provides insights into births to teens involved with the child welfare system. The data show that one in four teens in foster care in Los Angeles County give birth before age 20 and as many as 40 percent of these young mothers have a second child during their teen years.

Researchers linked roughly 1.5 million California birth records and 1 million CPS records, and analyzed the maltreatment risk of children born to adolescent mothers. The study's database of integrated birth and CPS records is unique in that it not only offers a "population-level" examination of past CPS involvement among teen mothers, but it also provides an opportunity to prospectively examine health and safety outcomes in the next generation.

We now have a more complete understanding of birth and early-parenting dynamics among a very vulnerable subset of young parents. California's Most Vulnerable Parents: A Population-Based Examination of Youth Involved with Child Protective Services was authored by University of Southern California Professor Emily Putnam-Hornstein, along with other researchers at USC and the University of California, Berkeley. Funding was provided by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

  • Video:

Professor Emily Putnam-Hornstein, University of Southern California

Amy Lemley, John Burton Foundation

Katherine Suellentrop, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

  • Documents:

Link to full report PDF: California’s Most Vulnerable Parents: When Maltreated Children Have Children

Press Release:  Groundbreaking report on teen parents

Policy and Practice Implications: Amy Lemley, John Burton Foundation

Learn more about preventing pregnancy and strengthening teen parenting skills for youth in foster care.

  • Research Briefs:

Vol 1-1. A Population-Based Examination of Maltreatment History among Adolescent Mothers

Vol 1-2. Cumulative Teen Birth Rates among Girls in Foster Care at Age 17

Vol 1-3. Adolescent Mothers and Intergenerational Child Protective Service Involvement

Vol 1-4. A Cross-Sectional Study of Birth Rate Trends among Girls in Foster Care

Vol 1-5. Infant Birth Weight and Maltreatment of Adolescent Mothers

  • Online:

We're going to continue our discussion about this new report online, particularly on Twitter and Facebook, where we hope you will join us in using the hashtags #fostercare and #teenparents

If you would like to share this information with your followers and friends, here are some suggested Tweets and Posts:

Groundbreaking new research offers fresh insights on #teenparents: #fostercare

Large declines in teen birth rate in #California and US; but not for foster youth. New research c/o @hiltonfound:

California's Most Vulnerable Parents: groundbreaking new #fostercare in #California:

In LA county, 40% of teens who give birth previously reported as victims of abuse or neglect. New report: #teenparents

Among girls in #fostercare at age 17, more than 25% had given birth at least once during their teens: #teenparents

Rate of childbearing significantly higher among girls in #fostercare than for other girls in LA County: #teenparents