Dropout prevention programs for teen mothers

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help address educational disparities, promote healthy childhood environments, and address social determinants of health. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve these outcomes are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • Typically lasting a year, these programs offer services to students with children, including case management, health care, transportation assistance, childcare, tutoring, and remedial education
  • Aim to increase attendance as well as graduation rates
  • Usually implemented in community settings rather than exclusively at school
  • May include financial incentives to encourage attendance
Target Population
High school-aged children
Cost per Participant
Approximately $2,250-3,000 per participant

Evidence and impacts


Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

  • Reduced dropout rates
  • Increased graduation rates
  • Improvements in health outcomes
  • Increased academic progress
  • Can provide financial incentives for teen mothers to return to school, such as the LEAP and Cal-Learn programs

Best practices in implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Pair financial incentives with case management and social services to create a comprehensive approach to dropout prevention.
  • Implement programs that involve significant changes to the learning environment such as vocational training programs, mentoring, community service programs, case management, and career counseling. These changes should be continuous and sustained for successful results.
  • Aim to include education on mental health, postnatal care, healthy relationships, etc.
  • Examine your school’s financial benefit, the students’ specific needs, and the providers’ capacity in order to ensure high quality implementation.