Life 101: Lessons for Teenage Fathers

Teen parents require additional support in order to finish school, raise healthy children, and set and accomplish goals for the future; this is especially true to teen fathers.

Life 101: Lessons for Teenage Fathers is a 16 week program to help non-custodial teen fathers connect with their child in a healthy and productive manner; model and teach them how to be involved in the child-rearing process; to continue their education on the secondary level and encourage post-secondary or vocational pursuits.

These goals support decreasing subsequent pregnancies in teens and the reduction of sexually transmitted diseases. Life 101 also helps the young teen fathers build healthier relationships with the child’s mother, reducing issues of domestic and dating violence; helps with demonstrating positive role modeling for their children; and explores community assets to support the development of teen parent and child.

The major services and activities that are provided include:

  • One-on-One mentoring
  • Group learning sessions
  • Linkage and referrals to outside resources
  • Home visits (home visits are designed to teach the young father about child development,
    healthy relationships, and follow-up with school process)

*The group curriculum we use is adapted from the Fatherhood Initiative Curriculum to better fit the needs of the teen fathers.


In the US, about 750,000 women under the age of 20 become pregnant every year, meaning that about 750,000 men are also involved in teen pregnancies.

8 out of 10 teen dads don’t marry the mother of their child.


Teen dads are less likely to finish high school than their peers.


Teen fathers face a lack of teen parent programs to help them.


Young fathers are more likely to have economic and employment challenges and are more often economically disadvantaged than adult fathers.

Despite the stereotypes, there is increasing evidence that teen fathers want to be (and are) involved with their children, though this involvement may not always include financial support



1 “Pregnancy and Childbirth among US Teens.” Planned Parenthood.
(accessed July 21, 2014).

2 “Teen Pregnancy by the Numbers.” New York City Human Resources Administration.
(accessed July 21, 2014).

3 “Teen Fatherhood and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Three Cohorts of Youth.” Cornell Institute for the
Social Sciences and the Cornell Population Program.
(accessed July 21, 2014).

4 “Fast Facts: The Unique Needs of Young Fathers.” Teen Health Network.
(accessed July 21, 2014).

5 Lerman, Robert and Ooms, Theodora. Young Unwed Fathers: Changing Roles and Emerging Profiles.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 1993. Print.

6 Gavin, L., et al. (2002). Young, disadvantaged fathers’ involvement with their infants: an ecological perspective.
Journal of Adolescent Health, 31, 266-276.


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