Giving Compass’ Take:
• Social Programs That Work analyses the impact of the Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, finding this program to be top tier.
• How can funders help to increase access to proven pregnancy prevention programs?
Sponsored by the Children’s Aid Society, the Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention program is a comprehensive youth development program for economically disadvantaged teens who enter the program at ages 13-15 and usually participate for three years, sometimes longer. The program is provided after school at local community centers, and runs for about three hours each weekday.
It includes five main activities, as follows:
- Daily academic assistance (e.g., tutoring, homework help, assistance with college applications);
- Job Club 1-2 times per week, including such activities as learning to complete a job application and interview for a job;
- Family life and sex education 1-2 times per week, led by a reproductive health counselor;
- Arts activities 1-2 times per week (e.g., music, dance, writing, or drama workshops); and
- Individual sports activities 1-2 times per week (e.g., tennis, swimming, martial arts).
For Carrera group females (compared to control group females):
- 40% less likely to have ever been pregnant (15% of Carrera group females had been pregnant vs. 25% of control group females).
- 50% less likely to have ever given birth (5% vs. 10%).
- More than twice as likely to be using Depo-Provera — a hormonal contraceptive — at last intercourse (22% vs. 9%).
For Carrera group males (compared to control group males):
- No effect on the likelihood of causing a pregnancy or fathering a child
The program also provides free mental health and medical care through alliances with local health care providers. A key component is reproductive health care, including physical exams, testing for sexually transmitted infections, a range of contraceptive options, and counseling. Carrera program staff schedule the teens’ appointments and accompany them on their visits. The program costs approximately $5,464 per teen per year to implement (2017 dollars).