The purpose of Berks Teens Matter is to work with public and private stakeholders to develop a coordinated plan of sustainable programs and practices that will reduce teen pregnancy through improved education and access, resulting in the long-term well-being of individuals, families and the overall Berks County community.
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 and parents, families and caregivers to educate and equip 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 prevention 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 prevention 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 preventing pregnancy.
- Investing in teen pregnancy postponement by partnering with all sectors of the community supports the development of healthy families and strengthens communities.