Financial problems for parents under the age of 18

Written by jayme scrudders | 13/05/2017
Financial problems for parents under the age of 18
There are serious risks and consequences to teenage pregnancy. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Teenage pregnancy is at its lowest in the UK since 1969, when records first began. The number of conceptions in 2011 was an estimated 31,051. However, the UK still has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe. Parents under the age of 18 have many financial problems, including inadequate income and the inability to pay for basic needs.

Inadequate Income

A long-term financial effect of teenage pregnancy is the inability for some teen mothers to find high-paying jobs because they did not finish secondary school or attend university. In 2010, over half of single mothers on state benefits had babies when they were teens. Less than one-third of teens who begin their families before age 18 ever finish secondary school.

Teen pregnancy is closely linked to poverty and single parenthood. A lack of education or leaving school at an early age will severely reduce the mother's chances of securing a well-paying job at any time in her future. The creates a vicious cycle. The teenager will find it difficult to return to school because of her new responsibilities and will find it just as difficult to obtain a job because she does not have a formal education.

Lack of basic needs

Parents under the age of 18 have difficulty paying for basic needs, such as food and shelter, because of their low income. Teen mothers often do not eat properly themselves and, because they are unable to provide for their children, newborns are often hospitalised for poor nutrition and other health problems.

Help from family members

If and when possible, teenage parents should rely on their own parents and family network for support. This goes beyond the financial to include emotional support. Counselling and help is also available from the NHS.

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