Teenage Pregnancy

Services to support teenage parents to improve outcomes for both teenage parents and their children

Support Pathway for parents under the age of 20

The Teenage Parents Support Pathway, see Appendix A, enables all under 20s who are continuing with their pregnancy to be provided with tailored support throughout pregnancy and into parenthood. The Support Pathway begins from the very first booking appointment with the midwife where the young mother-to-be completes a consented referral form. This gives permission for Public Health to refer for support from the Family Nurse Partnership or, if this is declined or the client is not eligible, then the referral is forwarded to the Central Bedfordshire Access and Referral Hub. The Access and Referral Hub will then triage and offer support from the Teenage Pregnancy Support advisor where appropriate. The Hub can also offer guidance around education, support with parenting, housing, funding and access to a range of other support and services, including contraception advice and sexual health services post birth, through the local sexual health referral pathway.

Family Nurse Partnership

The Family Nurse Programme (FNP) is a home visiting programme which supports vulnerable, first time mothers under the age of 20 with home visits until the child is aged two. FNP is a programme which was originally developed to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect amongst children born into vulnerable families. By facilitating positive sustained change within the family through a therapeutic relationship with their clients, the FNP aims to support young parents. Young parents are encouraged to identify their own strengths and to build on these strengths as a means of reducing the risks of deficits in their parenting capacity, improve pregnancy outcomes, improve child health and development and improve parents’ economic self-sufficiency. In Central Bedfordshire, the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) was launched in March 2015. Evidence from pilots of the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) in the UK suggests that the FNP is associated with a range of positive outcomes, such as improved breastfeeding rates and maternal self-esteem and aspirations[1].

Teenage Parent Support Advisor (TPSA)

A dedicated worker within the parenting and children’s centre teams provides personalised and in some cases intensive support for teenage parents-to-be, through pregnancy into parenthood. The support is individually needs-led to ensure that the most vulnerable receive the most intensive support.

Support includes:

  • Support through pregnancy and in preparing for baby’s arrival
  • Support following the birth and looking after a new bab

Ongoing parenting support includes:

  • Looking after yourself as a parent
  • Understanding child development including behaviour
  • Communicating with your child and giving praise
  • Providing a safe home environment


  • Support with day to day parenting concerns and queries
  • Support in attending meetings
  • Access to local services, including children’s centres, health services such as health visitors, and other voluntary and community services
  • Support to stay in education, return to education or seek alternative education

Midwifery support

There is a dedicated Teenage Pregnancy Team at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital composed of three specialist midwives. The midwives work very closely with the TPSA and the Family Nurse Partnership to ensure that a holistic approach is provided. In addition, Bedford Hospital has a lead teenage pregnancy midwife who is responsible for monitoring booking referrals for the under 20s to ensure that all those who continue with their pregnancy access tailored support through the local support pathway.

Young mums-to-be / parents with prospects training

First Place training provides accredited courses for young parents, to support them as they prepare for parenthood, when they become parents and supports teenage parents back into education and work. Since 2012, 13 learners have completed the course and a further 12 are progressing through the course at the time of writing.

Mellow Bumps / Mellow Babies

Mellow Bumps is a six-week antenatal programme focusing on improving maternal health and well being, supporting the mother’s understanding of their developing baby and enabling mothers to get the right support during pregnancy and after the birth of their baby.

Mellow Babies is an intensive 14-week group supporting the relationship between mother and baby, improving maternal health and well-being and enabling mothers to be able to care for their baby’s emotional and physical health effectively.

Through the support pathway, teenage mothers are actively supported to access these programmes.

Support for teenage parents within Children’s Centres

Children’s Centres provide access to a range of support services for young parents with many centres also now offering dedicated support groups for teenage/young parents. The FNP works closely with children’s centres and encourages their clients to attend their local children’s centre.

Young dads-to-be / parents with prospects training

First Place training provides two accredited courses for young dads and young dads-to-be. The course enables young dads-to-be aged between 14-18 years to gain an Edexcel Level 1 award. The course covers antenatal development and birth, and the responsibilities of caring for a young baby.


[1] Family Nurse Partnership National Unit, The Family Nurse Partnership Programme: Information Leaflet, Department of Health, London, 2012.

Last updated Tuesday, 18th October 2016