Teenage Pregnancy - a Global Social Issue that Can Affect Many Lives

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Teenage pregnancy is defined by the United Nations Population Fund as the pregnancy of teenage or underage girl between the ages of 13 and 19 years (UNFPA, 2002). Teenage pregnancy is a global problem and its prevalence in jamaica and poses a serious problem to the government, health workers, parents, teachers, communities and social workers.

The Code of Ethics point out that “all human beings deserve access to the resources they need to deal with life’s problems and to develop their full potential”. We are deemed as a social worker to believe that the client have the ability to make the best decision. To avoid conflicts with the the clients view and our personal beliefs we are to keep neutral and enhance their decision-making and problem-solving capacity.

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The MEC appealed to social workers to equip teenagers with life skills and to inform them of the consequences of teenage pregnancy (Nduvheni, 2011:1).

Teenage pregnancy has an adverse effect on the wellbeing of teenagers, including a high rate of infant and maternal mortality as well as sex-related diseases such as infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) (Kyei, 2012:143; Sodi, 2009:51)

According to Stellenbosch 2017 The complexity of teenage pregnancy calls for a coordinated collaboration among various welfare, educational and health organisations to successfully prevent teenage pregnancy. Therefore, networking with relevant stakeholders, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), faith-based organisations (FBOs) and private institutions can play a crucial part in preventing repeat pregnancies among teenagers. Hence, an understanding of the factors associated with teenage pregnancy and its consequences is necessary to effectively mitigate the consequences of adolescent pregnancy (Domenico & Jones, 2007:6).

Teenage have to leave school as a result of their pregnancy this show the necessary need for formal social support as well as inform support that should be offered. To address the issue young person who are view as role models should be involved as teenagers will more easily relate to their peers. From a social worker’s perspective we should strive to promote gender equality and empowerment of young women at all intervention levels. I suggest doing this through a colloaborative effort with health workers who will focus on providing reproductive health guide and information services. This effort should address the concerns of teenagers regarding barriers to accessing health care facilities.

To uphold the principles of social justice, human rights and collective responsibility which are central to social work (International Federation of Social Workers, 2014) different social work associations, should make an unequivocal commitment to serve as pressure groups for enforcements. Silence and complacency on the part of these groups would be hypocritical, since they have committed themselves to be the voice of the voiceless and vulnerable groups Stellenbosch 2017.

As the programme Manager and social worker of this facility for teenage mothers; I realize the difficulties myself in dealing with recurrent teenage pregnancy. I believe the best way to solve this is to follow the ethical principles. One of our core aim is helping people to help themselves; this I can do by helping these teenagers to find out the best ways to solve their problems.

The ethical principles points to client confidentiality, to ensure this I will assure clients that their information will not be shared this will encourage th clients to speak freely and provide more background information. These information will show the organizations the main cause for these recurrent pregnancies. However, the ethical principle of confidentiality is not absolute if the client presents danger to slf or others; this concern will also be shared to the client.


  1. Social Work On-line version ISSN 2312-7198 Print version ISSN 0037-8054
  2. Social work (Stellenbosch. Online) vol.53 n.2 Stellenbosch 2017 
  3. INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS, 2014. Global definition of social work. [Online] Available: [Accessed: 05/07/2016]. Accessed: 08/08/2008].
  4. KYEI, K.A. 2012. Teenage fertility in Vhembe District in Limpopo Province, how high is that? Scholar Link Research Institute Journals, 3(2):134-140.
  5. NDUVHENI, S. 2011. Limpopo MECs to address teenage pregnancy. [Online] Available: [Accessed: 20/03/2013].
  6. UNFPA. 2002. Indicator: Births per 1000 women (15-19 yrs) - 2002 UNFPA, State of World Population. [Online] Available: [Accessed: 22/06/2013].

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