The purpose of Berks Teens Matter is for public and private stakeholders to work together to develop and implement a coordinated plan to sustain programs and practices to reduce teen pregnancy, leading to improved educational outcomes and long term well being of families and communities in Berks County.
The goal of BTM is to reduce teen pregnancy by 40% in Berks County by 2022.
- Identify and Target Youth Populations Based on data, target educational initiatives to populations in Berks County with higher than average teen birth rates.
- Empower Families Equip parents, families and caregivers to educate and empower youth to make good decisions that will positively influence their future.
- Best Clinical Practices- Develop and train providers on best practices for provider/patient communication with regard to sexual and reproductive health and increase linkages to accessible, youth-friendly practices.
- Community Engagement Raise levels of awareness about the rate and impact of teen births in Berks County and engage individuals, families, employers, and the community at large to carry out the mission of Berks Teens Matter.
Berks Teens Matter honors and values our diverse community. We believe the following:
- Parents and caregivers should be the primary sexuality educators. Community programs, medical institutions, schools, and religious institutions should assist families while respecting the values within the home and community.
- The most effective teen pregnancy postponement initiatives are intentionally designed, nonjudgmental, involve parents and youth, respect the rights and capabilities of youth, and engage all segments of the community.
- The most effective teen pregnancy postponement programs are developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive, medically accurate, comprehensive in approach and link youth to accessible clinical services.
- Youth should be respected for their unique traits and characteristics and empowered to take control of their own reproductive health and wellness.
- Youth, regardless of gender, are equally responsible for making decisions about sexual activity and postponing pregnancy.
- Investing in teen pregnancy postponement by partnering with all sectors of the community supports the development of healthy families and strengthens communities.