SHIFT NC

SHIFT NC statement on Policy and Research Group, LLC, et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services, et al.

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SHIFT NC has joined Policy and Research Group, Project Vida, and the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy in litigation asking the Department of Health and Human Services to reinstate grant funding that is currently serving some of North Carolina’s most vulnerable teens. Policy and Research Group, LLC, et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services, et al. was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Public Citizen.

In July 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services informed grantees that competitively funded programs would end in 2018 rather than 2020, two years earlier than planned.

“Our state has made great progress reducing teen pregnancy rates. Ending these programs early undermines that progress and punishes young people, their parents and the teachers, doctors, social workers and other adults who serve them,” said CEO Traci L. Baird.

As one of the plaintiffs on the case, SHIFT NC is seeking continued funding for the Every Teen Counts initiative. Every Teen Counts builds the capacity of the foster care system and the state’s juvenile detention centers to provide trauma-informed pregnancy prevention programs.

Youth in foster care and juvenile detention centers have higher teen pregnancy rates than their peers. While communities have had evidence-based tools to affect most youth, until recently, there have been fewer tools available to serve the most vulnerable youth.

Every Teen Counts has helped partners in North Carolina implement the most effective tools to meet the specific needs of youth in foster care and detention centers. These programs couple medically accurate, age-appropriate information with trauma-informed approaches.

North Carolina’s teen pregnancy rate has fallen a remarkable 73% since 1990. But that progress hasn’t reached all youth. By continuing Every Teen Counts, the state can continue to boost the capacity of our foster care and juvenile justice systems to help some of our most vulnerable teens avoid unplanned pregnancy.

To view copies of the filing, visit https://www.citizen.org/our-work/litigation/cases/policy-and-research-llc-v-department-health-and-human-services

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