Hackney helps teen pregnancy rates spiral

Teenage conception rates in Hackney have continued their downward trend according to new data released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS figures reveal the fall in teenage pregnancy rates to be their lowest across England and Wales for the past 20 years. Hackney has been highlighted for reducing teenage pregnancy rates by *28% since 1998, compared with a national average of 13%.

In response to the ONS data, the Department for Children, Schools and Families stated that ‘if all areas were doing as well as the top 25 per cent, our national reduction would be more than double - and on track to meet our 2010 target’, adding ‘areas such as Hackney and South Tyneside have shown that by fully implementing the Government s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy change is possible, even in the most challenging areas’.

Councillor Rita Krishna, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Chair of Team Hackney’s Children and Young People’s Partnership said: “More and more young people in Hackney are showing maturity and responsibility for their own sexual health with support from our local Teenage Pregnancy Partnership, which brings together health, education and children and young people’s services to deliver the Government’s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy.

“We have a good chance of meeting the target of 60% reduction in teenage pregnancy rates by 2010 and support many more of the borough’s young people.”

Hackney’s teenage pregnancy programme is the biggest in the country, funded by Team Hackney - the borough’s local strategic partnership - and central Government. It includes a range of integrated measures including grants to help young mothers with childcare while they are studying, peer mentoring for young mothers, one-to-one advice on contraception, and counselling and other forms of support and advice.

The local teenage pregnancy strategy has been evaluated by a team from Lancaster University who carried out a study to evaluate ten years’ worth of data in order to identify which interventions appear to have the most impact on teenage pregnancy rates in Hackney and which provide the best value for money.

The results are set to be published later in the year.