The plan – MOMENTUM MATTERS
In 2015, in response to the fact that Oklahoma had one of the highest rates of teen births in the United States, our community created a bold goal to reduce Oklahoma County’s teen birth rate by one-third by 2020 (click here to view “As A Matter of Fact” comprehensive plan). More than 40 organizations, community partners, government agencies and service providers came together in a public-private collaboration and set their sights on reducing the teen birth rate.
The goal has not only been met, it was exceeded a full year early!
We should collectively celebrate this resounding success while also recognizing much work is left to be done. Despite progress, Oklahoma has the third-highest teen birth rate in the nation, and just over 20% of all the teen births that occur in our state happen right here in Oklahoma County.
For more than a year, we have been engaged in a process of listening to and learning from experts and residents of our community. More than 500 stakeholders were directly engaged in the development of this plan to further reduce teen births in Oklahoma County. The voices of young people, community leaders, parents, faith leaders and community-based staff and partners combined with a local and national data and policy review guided the creation of the collaboration’s next steps.
History. Data trends. Community voices. National best practices. All of these, along with a strong desire to continue making progress on this critical issue, inform our new common agenda, inclusive of a new goal to:
The real question is where do we focus moving forward? How do we dig even deeper and target our efforts and investment? Our new common agenda answers these questions in the form of three key priority areas and supporting strategies: inform, connect, and engage.
The recent successes of teen pregnancy prevention efforts in Oklahoma County demonstrate that with consistent, long-term investments of time, talent and resources, it is possible to make a substantial difference in the lives of individual youth and in the economic development of our community.
While a number of strategies appear in this document, what is most important is support and engagement from YOU. Together, we will continue to write Oklahoma County’s success story.