The teenage birth rate (15-19) for the year ending June 2007 is up to 29.9 from 27.6 the previous year. The highest rate in ten years. There was an established downward trend but that has firmly reversed now.
As you would expect the number of 18-19 year-olds on the DPB is also up from 2.9 percent in June 2006 to 3.2 percent in June 2007. That also represents an absolute rise in numbers. Then there are 16-17 year-olds on the Emergency Maintenance Allowance but the MSD does not routinely publish that figure. I wonder why.
What does this mean? More work for the teenage parent counsellors and service coordinators, more dedicated educational facilities, more work for CYF, more carers needed for those babies who will be removed from their mother not long after their birth, more housing needed, more long-term careers on welfare launched, more taxpayer funding needed, all in all, more social problems down the line.
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