The Pregnant and Parenting Teens program in Grande Prairie says there is more access to birth control for teens now than in past years and because of that there has been a decrease in the number of teens having babies in the region.
Melodie McCracken, Executive Director with Pregnant and Parenting Teens says two years ago statistics showed just over 200 teen births and now there are about 175 per year.
“There’s been a lot of community support around getting nurses and early access to doctors and birth control in our community,” she explained. “Even though there are still some financial barriers to accessing birth control; the S.T.I. clinics, the walk-in clinics, as well as the school nurses, are making a big difference in terms of addressing prevention.”
She says, the program helps pregnant teens or young mothers in a multitude of ways.
“At Pregnant and Parenting Teens, we will look at any teen parent who is needing supports or services. So that can be anything from a pregnancy test, to working with them to find employment, or housing. But really it’s about finding out what their needs are and connecting that with services and supports in the community and in our program.”
Currently a playhouse raffle fundraiser is underway in support of the program. Playhouses painted by students at the Composite High School are being auctioned off.