Foster Teens Get Help to Put Off Parenthood

February 1, 2011

News and Stories

Greg Echele, Chief Executive Director of Family Resource Center, was recently quoted in an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The article focused on teenagers in the current foster care system and reducing the pregnancy rate among those teens.

“There are about 270 girls, ages 13 to 17, currently in foster care in St. Louis city and county, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services. If the pregnancy rate among that group remains the same, more than half have already had or will have pregnancies in five years.

The SPOT program aims to reduce the rate among foster teens by 10 percent. Plax said that goal was optimistic.
That impact may seem small, but any reduction in those rates will yield taxpayers a huge return, said Greg Echele, director of Family Resource Center, a St. Louis agency that runs a program for teen mothers to improve their parenting and deter additional pregnancies.

Echele said a high percentage of children born to foster children ultimately end up in foster care, costing taxpayers more than $23,000 a year per child. He said those costs didn’t include family court expenses or neonatal intensive care costs for premature babies born to teens with no prenatal care. There are also future social costs associated with a population that typically fails to complete high school, has high unemployment and is often involved in juvenile and adult courts.”

Read the entire article here.