ASCC teens need your help to establish happy, productive lives.
As children develop into their teens and become young adults the guidance they received as they were raised will be
the view of their social skills and the pinnacle of how well their social relationships develop. Social relationships
encompass a very large range and youths need to establish a transition system for when they are aging out of the state’s
A survey of 500 young women, ages 15 to 24, found that 60 percent were currently involved in an ongoing abusive
relationship and all participants had experienced violence in a dating relationship. One study found that 38 percent
of date rape victims were young women from 14 to 17 years of age. More than half (68%) of young women raped knew their
rapist either as a boyfriend, friend or casual acquaintance.
Youth in the foster care system have experienced multiple disappoints not only with their own family, but with the people
they meet during their time in custody. Not having positive role models leaves these youth with distorted views on dating,
parenting, rape, domestic violence and causes them to gravitate to any acceptance they come in contact with, including
gangs. For many teens, the only way they know to express their confusion, doubt or pain is through rebellion.
Gangs prey on the weak child that yearns to fit in by giving them the false illusion of being accepted into the cool
crowd. Gangs, like teen cults, convince our youth that joining "their gang or cult" will make them a "well-liked and
popular" teen as well as one that others may fear. This gives the teen a false sense of superiority. Remember, many
of today's teens that are acting out negatively are suffering with extremely low self confidence. This feeling of power
that they believe a gang or cult has can boost their esteem; however they are blinded to the fact that is dangerous.
The need to fit in drives these teens to take desperate measure and make poor decisions. In reality, it is a downward
spiral that can result in damage both emotionally and physically.
Teaching the importance of using appropriate social skills belongs in every environment regardless of age. Many youth with behavior
needs benefit from the ongoing teaching of social proficiency. Youth need to be reminded that even adults continue to learn social
Early parenthood is another concern with youth exiting foster care. Early pregnancy and parenthood are closely linked
to a host of other critical issues, including poverty and income disparity, educational attainment, and overall child
well-being. Teen pregnancy is also directly related to entry into foster care and has serious consequences for the
child welfare system. Teens in foster care, many of whom suffered abuse and neglect before leaving their homes, are at
increased risk for getting pregnant and becoming parents than other teens.
Nearly half (48%) of the 19 year-old girls that have been in foster care have become pregnant at least once and nearly
one-third (32%) have at least one child. It is also the case that children born to teen parents are significantly more
likely than children born to adult parents to enter the foster care system. This data is a clear indicator that a more
intensive and coordinated effort is needed by those concerned with child welfare and teen pregnancy.
One important place to start is to help prevent early pregnancy among youth in foster care and those transitioning
out of foster care, and to help those who have already gotten pregnant to avoid subsequent pregnancies. Teen childbearing
cost taxpayers $9.1 billion in 2004. Fully $2.3 billion of these costs can be attributed to increased child welfare costs
from foster care and Child Protective Services.
How ASCC Makes a Difference
In the ASCC Social Relationship Program, emphasis will be placed on significant measures for our youth to detect
warning signs about dating and how to become more aware of indicators of abusive behavior.
ASCC will connect our youth with educators of gang awareness and local authorities in the community so they become more
familiar with safe zones and areas to be vigilant of when finding housing, jobs and developing new friendships.
Being able to recognize healthy social relationships will help our youth to rise. Having more respect and self-esteem
for themselves will build a stronger character and enable them to have confidence in their ventures into adulthood.
ASCC will also educate our youth on preventive measures of pregnancy and early parenthood, as well as the health dangers
of having multiple sex partners. Those youth who are contemplating having a baby or have an unrealistic expectations of
parenthood, will be introduce to a
which gives the youth a realistic experience of having a newborn. The baby simulator has proven results and has been far
more effective in changing the attitudes of adolescents toward parenting than other popular strategies such as shadowing a
teen parent for a day. Reductions of up to 50% in the rate of teen pregnancy have been reported by some schools and teachers
who have used the infant simulator.
For those youth who have already had a child (ren), or are expecting; we also will offer newborn and parenting classes
associated with professional medical facilities and area hospitals. Here our teens will learn how to care for a newborn
as well as how to learn skills that will help them through the beginning years of being a parent.
Since most of these youth did not have good parenting role models, this will be critical to prevent a
continuous cycle of abuse, neglect and increase of children in the child welfare system. Children having children is a
problem with dire consequences for both the young people themselves and for society as a whole. Young people with children
often have sharply reduced education and employment opportunities and a poorer quality of life. Meeting their needs places
a severe burden on both families and public resources.
For more information on the Social Relationships Program or any other ASCC Program, please contact us at 615-283-3013
or email us at