Teenage fathers get help finding their way

California’s rate of teenage births is at a 20-year low, but in 2011 there were still 28 babies born for every 1,000 teenage girls.  Programs to help young moms handle motherhood have been around for some time, but it takes two to tango, as they say. What about the young dads?

A group session at Children's Hospital, Los Angeles' LA Fathers program
A group session at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles’ LA Fathers program. Photo by Christian Bordal

Studies show that young men in their teens or early twenties that become fathers suffer many of the same consequences as young moms. They struggle to complete their education, they struggle financially – it’s hard to get a good job if you don’t finish high school – and they have unstable relationships. And these life challenges don’t just affect the young parents. Their children also often enter the same negative cycle resulting in poorer health, education, and behavioral outcomes.

The LA Fathers program at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles has been created to  provide young fathers with job placement, parenting skills, and relationship counseling. The program has received federal funding to put 250 young men a year through a 10-week series of support group sessions.

KCRW’s Christian Bordal recently visited a group session and filed this story.