Majority of teen pregnancy literature and practice is deficit based, focusing on the consequences of teen pregnancy; significantly less research is devoted to the teens’ strengths. This article discusses the strengths-based perspective as a viable framework for clinicians and school social workers to implement to help teen parents and their families ameliorate some of the challenges they encounter. This article emphasizes the importance of clinicians, school social workers, and the community to adopt a strengths-based perspective when working with teen parents in order to cultivate strengths and opportunities for success. This article also provides specific strategies for practitioners to implement in order to identify and build strengths among teen parents and their families. An overview of the pivotal role academic institutions have in maximizing strengths through school-based services is also presented.
Key Take Away Points
- Teen parents want to succeed
- Teen parents do suceed
- Implementing the strengths perspective with teen parents and their families fosters hope
- Implementing the strengths perspective with teen parents and their families fosters resilience
- Implementing the strengths perspective with teen parents and their families motivates and empowers teen parents to succeed.
- School based teen pregnancy programs have the capacity to maximize teen parents strengths
- School based teen parenting programs have the capacity to combat against some of the social problems that teen parents and their parents experience.
Dr. Nila Ricks is an Assistant Professor in the Social Work program at Texas Woman’s University. She earned her PhD in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington, where she was also an adjunct instructor for two years. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Ricks has several years of practice experience with children, families, and teen parents. Her research interests include teen pregnancy prevention, adolescent suicide, adolescent substance use, and program evaluation. Dr. Ricks is the Co PI for the Parent Partners Grant and the PI for the Maximizing Kinships Grant.
"The Strengths Perspective: Providing Opportunities for Teen Parents and their Families to Succeed,"
Journal of Family Strengths: Vol. 15:
1, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/jfs/vol15/iss1/11