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Changing developmental trajectories: evidence based policy to deal with pregnancy of girls in long-term care

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Author: Gerges, Mary
This study addresses the problem of high pregnancy rates among children and youth in BC government care compared to those in the general population. Key research questions addressed are: a) What is the BC structural and legislative context for girls in care and what role does this play in contributing to their higher than average pregnancy rates; and b) What can BC learn from the policies, guidelines, and program implementations of other jurisdictions that have attempted to deal with this problem in their own at-risk populations? Research findings show that BC children and youth in care lack access to targeted, coordinated and holistic health services. A policy requiring the development of standardized guidelines, as well as set of indicators of psychosocial development to be documented within an integrated monitoring system in order to track the health and well being of children in care, is recommended. This is imperative to bolstering the well-being of children and youth in care and in turn reduce pregnancy rates. An additional recommendation, to pilot a health care coordinator program in one BC health region, is made.
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