Local teenage pregnancy rates falling

Council's initiative gets the green light from DfES

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Ealing Council ranks in the top ten London councils for reducing teenage pregnancies according to latest goverrnment figures which show the council has reduced the numbers for under 18 conceptions to below the national average.

The council’s traffic light rating, a system used by the Teenage Pregnancy Unit at the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) to rate local authorities, has also improved. The figures, which relate to 2004, show the council moved from amber green to green.

Judith Finlay, director of children and families, said “This is truly a great achievement. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our staff and community partners for their dedication to teenage pregnancy prevention. While there have been fluctuations from year to year the overall downward trend has been steady since 1998, which is very encouraging.”

Ms Finlay added “Teenage pregnancy prevention and support remains a high priority for us and there are still areas where more needs to be done. We will continue to assess the areas that we excel in as well as focusing on the areas where we could improve.”

Cllr Julian Bell, chair of the council’s teenage pregnancy and parenthood strategy board, said “Congratulations to everyone who has contributed to this success. By focusing on preventative work to maintain and increase the reductions, the council has been able to encourage young people to have healthy lifestyles and to make informed decisions about their lives.”

Ealing Council and the Ealing Primary Care Trust (EPCT) invest in programmes including sex and relationship education (SRE) and sexual health promotion in both school and out-of-school settings. EPCT in collaboration with Ealing Hospital, local pharmacies and voluntary sector partners, also provide youth-friendly sexual health advice, support, and services, including condoms and emergency contraception.

Additional services are provided to vulnerable groups such as looked after children, refugee and asylum seekers, young offenders, young people who are excluded from school and young people with learning disabilities.

Assistance is also available for teenage parents to ensure their families have the best start. A dedicated midwife for teenage parents works alongside Connexions Personal Advisors and other community health services to support and facilitate access to various local service, including help in returning to education, training and employment.

March 8, 2006