Skip to main content

Teens and Toddlers integrated process evaluation

Teens and Toddlers (T&T) is a youth development and teenage pregnancy prevention programme and the central project of the Children: Our Ultimate Investment (COUI) organisation. COUI UK was founded in 2001 and introduced the Teens and Toddlers programme to address social exclusion and high teenage pregnancy rates.
The T&T programme aims to prevent teenage pregnancies through:

• Providing practical experience of working with children and developing an appreciation of the enormous privilege, responsibility and hard work involved in having a child.
• Raising awareness of the personal and financial responsibilities implied by an unexpected pregnancy through developing an understanding of the impact of a child on family life and personal lifestyle.
• Encouraging the development of alternative goals to being pregnant, such as satisfying work and relationships.
• Educating teens about the realities of pregnancy, the importance of sexual responsibility and the effects of harmful behaviours (such as drugs and violence) and health related factors - from foetus to neonate to child.
• Providing one-to-one counselling and mentoring/coaching to young people who are emotionally challenged and need support, to enhance the outcomes of T&T.
• Providing the knowledge and skills required for successful relationships and sexual responsibility, to prevent conception and protect sexual health.

T&T targets ‘hot spots’ of high rates of teenage pregnancy and works with local authorities to develop programmes in secondary schools. The programme selects young people aged 13-17 considered to be at risk for teenage parenthood and works with them for three hour weekly sessions over 18-20 weeks in a nursery setting. The young person supports a child, typically under the age of 5 and ‘needing special attention’, for about one and a half hours per session and also spends around 90 minutes per session in a classroom working with a facilitator trained in the pedagogy and curriculum of T&T. This classroom time focuses on child development, effective parenting skills, anger management, sexuality and relationships. Participants also have access to individual time with a trained counsellor. Participation in the programme enables the young people to achieve a National Award in Interpersonal Skills, Level 1 (NCFE).