TANF State Plans: Out-of-Wedlock and Statutory Rape Provisions

August 15, 1997 | Jodie Levin-Epstein


The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 established the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a block grant that replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. The new law requires states to submit a state TANF Plan to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in order to receive a TANF grant.1 State TANF Plans: Out-of-Wedlock and Statutory Rape Provisions examines the information states included in their plans on these two reproductive health issues. An overview, state-by-state synopsis and chart, and a set of recommendations follow. Some states provide significant detail; many others do not. If state TANF Plans are to provide useful information and offer insights into plans around the country, more federal guidance or revised legislation may be needed.


The state TANF Plan requirements in the new law (P.L. 104-193) seek little information compared to the requirements of states under AFDC. Within the limited scope of the TANF Plan requirements, however, there is a relatively elevated focus on teen pregnancy. This focus is directed towards out-of-wedlock births and statutory rape.

For a state TANF Plan to be complete, it must provide an "Outline of [the state's] Family Assistance Program."2 The "Outline" includes six general provisions and four special provisions. Of the six general provisions, two focus on teenage pregnancy. Each state's plan under PL. 104-193 is to outline how the state intends to:

"Establish goals and take action to prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies, with special emphasis on teenage pregnancies, and establish numerical goals for reducing the illegitimacy ratio of the State (as defined in section 403(a)(2)(B))3 for calendar years 1996 through 2005."4

"Conduct a program designed to reach state and local law enforcement officials, the education system, and relevant counseling services, that provides education and training on the problem of statutory rape so that teenage pregnancy prevention programs may be expanded in scope to include men."5

HHS does not have the authority to approve or disapprove a state's TANF Plan. The federal agency can only determine whether the plan is complete. Once HHS determines that a plan is complete, the state may TANF funds. The statute does not set forth what constitutes incompleteness nor how HHS should respond to an incomplete plan. In practice, HHS has identified areas it considers incomplete, communicated that to states, and invited states to augment the information in the plan. Once a state addresses these points, plans have been deemed complete. It is not clear whether there is any consequence if a state fails to follow its own TANF Plan.

State TANF Plans: Out-of-Wedlock and Statutory Rape Provisions reviews each state's and the District of Columbia's TANF Plan. States were required to submit their plans to the Department of Health and Human Services by July 1, 1997. All states have submitted and been deemed complete.

Most states had submitted TANF plans earlier than the July 1 due date; indeed, states are beginning to submit amendments. This text only reviews initial plans, not any subsequent amendments.

Further, we have deliberately narrowed this review of state plans to two reproductive health topics (out-of-wedlock and statutory rape) that states are required to address.6 In describing out-of-wedlock goals and actions, many states summarized teen pregnancy and family planning initiatives.7 We have attempted to highlight this information. At the same time, states are free to include information that is not required by the TANF Plan provision and some states did so while others did not. We have not typically included this information. For example, some states describe their teen parent provisions related to school attendance and living arrangements; we note this information only when a state explicitly links such policy to its out-of-wedlock initiative.8

Finally, the state TANF Plan provisions may not fully capture state policy. For example, recent state legislation may offer greater detail regarding the issues covered in this document than is available through the TANF Plan. A case in point is Iowa's description of its TANF targeted family planning services and requirement. While the TANF Plan notes that the state will have such services and requirements, the new state welfare law9 describes them more fully. Thus, this document serves as an initial reference tool that should be augmented by additional investigation into state policy.


Out-of-Wedlock. The out-of-wedlock TANF Plan provision calls upon states to establish general goals as well as numerical goals to reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and births. The provision applies to all women of child bearing age. Thus, it applies to both recipients and non-recipients of TANF assistance; it also applies to teens as well as older women.

The TANF Plan out-of-wedlock provision calls for an emphasis on teenagers. This may reflect the fact that most teen births are out-of-wedlock. Indeed, the public perception may be that every teen birth is out-of-wedlock. Since roughly 75 percent of teen births in 1994 were out-of-wedlock, this perception, while inaccurate, is understandable. It also may explain why some TANF Plans, in describing their out-of-wedlock goals, simply identify a reduction in overall teen pregnancy without distinctions related to marital status. The timing of the new law's focus on out-of-wedlock teens is ironic; for the first time in two decades the out-of-wedlock birth rate declined. Teens as well as most older cohorts of women were part of this decline in out-of-wedlock births.10

A number of states, in describing out-of-wedlock goals, do not use this term. Rather, these states identify an interest in reducing unintended pregnancy. This could reflect a distinct ideological difference. Some states may be most interested in reducing unintentional parenting and less interested in increasing rates of marriage, particularly among very young teens.

The TANF Plan provisions specifically call upon the state to set numerical goals for the out-of-wedlock bonus that was created by the new law. The "Bonus to Reward a Decrease in Illegitimacy" makes $100 million available each year for up to 5 states that demonstrate that they have decreased rates of both "illegitimacy" as well as abortion in their state. The rates apply to the entire state's population, not only TANF recipients and not only teens. Bonuses are to be awarded in fiscal years 1999-2002.

Since the out-of-wedlock bonus measures the overall decline in such births among women of all ages, there is no need for states to identify a particular numerical goal for teens; nevertheless, a number of states do so in their TANF plan. Indeed, some of these states simply referenced goals they already set for minor (under age 18) teen birth rates as part of a separate federal initiative - Healthy People 2000.11

While the TANF Plan requires that states set numerical goals for the out-of-wedlock bonus, the goal setting is unrelated to the receipt of the bonus. This is because the bonus is designed to reward states with the greatest decline in out-of-wedlock births (which must be coupled with a decline in the rate of abortions); it does not reward states for achievements towards a goal. In other words, a state which meets 100% of its goal may rank low when compared to the actual declines in other states.12 The process of goal-setting may help a state begin to address the out-of-wedlock issue but it has no direct bearing on receipt of the out-of-wedlock bonus.

The CLASP review of state plans found that:

Most states - 31 - failed to provide any numerical goal for reducing the illegitimacy ratio of the state.

States which offered no numerical goal typically tracked statutory language and merely indicated that they had a plan to convene a group that would establish such a goal.

A minority of the states - 13 - provided a numerical goal for reducing out-of-wedlock births among women of childbearing age.

States which offered a numerical goal for the overall population provided the data in different forms making it difficult to readily compare goals between states; a number of the states with numerical goals articulated an interest in revisiting the goals over time.

About one fifth of the states - 11 - provided a numerical goal for reducing out-of-wedlock births among adolescents specifically.

Some states provided numerical goals for adolescents but not for the general population. In some of these states, the goal identified for adolescents is the same goal established for the Healthy People 2000 campaign. At few states (e.g. Arizona, Delaware) established several goals for different age adolescents.

Half the states - 25 - included information regarding teen pregnancy initiatives underway or planned.

The descriptions of teen pregnancy initiatives provide insights into how responding states intend to "take action" to address "out-of-wedlock pregnancies, with a special emphasis on teenage pregnancies...". Among the states responding, a number noted media campaigns, abstinence education programs, and engagement of family members in targeted education campaigns. It is not possible to identify national trends because states which have initiatives may not have described them in their TANF plans.

About one-fifth of states - 12 - noted some type of family planning service typically targeted at teens or low income families.

A number of states report new procedures for identifying family planning needs of TANF participants (e.g. Georgia will refer for services all members of a TANF family who need family planning information; Florida's long term family planning strategy calls for integrating family planning services with TANF work activities and would include training of case managers and nurses in TANF offices, among other steps). Other states identify funding and access developments (e.g. California's state-only funded family planning program; Maine's recruitment of TANF participants as family planning peer educators to increase the use of family planning services; West Virginia's plan to increase availability of contraceptive services to adolescents by 5%).

A handful of states - 5 - note a family planning related requirement that could be imposed on TANF participants.

A few state plans and/or "personal responsibility agreements" accompanying the plans describe family planning related activities that become obligations of TANF participants (e.g. Delaware mandates that adults and minors obtain family planning information from a provider of their choice; failure to do so could result in a sanction). The provider of choice is determined by the participant and thus could include the services of a local Planned Parenthood or the family priest; in Georgia, follow-through on a family planning referral is a participant's responsibility and some participants may be required to attend family planning counseling; in Kentucky, the assessment process concludes with the identification of responsibilities of a teen parent and these can include family planning goals.

Statutory Rape. The statutory rape plan provision in TANF calls upon the state to describe how it will "conduct" an education and training program on the subject. The objective of the program is to enhance "teenage pregnancy prevention programs" so that they "may be expanded in scope to include men."

There are no special funds in the new law to undertake the statutory rape program. At the same time, a different provision13 in the same law directs the Attorney General to "establish and implement" a Justice Department program on statutory rape by January 1, 1997. To date, the Justice Department has not yet issued a formal report.

The TANF Plan provision does not reference the Justice Department statutory rape provision and their relationship is unclear. Part of the Justice Department program is to educate "State and local criminal law enforcement officials on the prevention of and prosecution of statutory rape." Like the state effort that is to be described in the TANF Plan, there are no special monies set aside for this federal effort. It is unclear whether these two programs are to operate on parallel tracks or whether state programs are, at least in part, meant to implement the Justice Department program.

While the interaction of the two provisions is unclear, the legislative impetus for addressing statutory rape is clear. A number of studies had indicated that a significant percent of pregnancies to teenage women were attributable to males in their 20's and older. For example, a report from the Alan Guttmacher Institute found that men 20 or older father half the pregnancies among teenage women 15-17. Of greater significance may be the relationships with large age differentials. One in five mothers ages 15-17 has a partner six or more years older.14

Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) took the lead in promoting an amendment to address statutory rape. In a 1995 floor statement, Lieberman asserted, "One of the dreadful facts that comes out as we go over this problem of teen pregnancies is that a remarkable percentage of the babies born to teenage mothers have been fathered by men who are considerably older...And there is not much we can do from Washington to deal with that except to...try to encourage the States, the local prosecuting attorneys, the district attorneys to be very aggressive in working with welfare authorities to once again take statutory rape as a serious crime and to prosecute it, understanding that this is done to deter adult men from committing a sexual act that will result in a child born to poverty..."15

The CLASP review of state plans found that:

More than half of the states - 29 - merely track the statute and indicate they plan to conduct a statutory rape education program while the remainder provide limited detail.

States which described their education programs identified a range of approaches (e.g. in West Virginia a curriculum for 12-15 year olds is being developed and after an evaluation, the curriculum will become part of the school health program; in California the Male Involvement Program funds awarded to 23 community agencies will include the topic of domestic violence and teen pregnancy prevention). Most states provided very limited information.


A review of state plans regarding out-of-wedlock and statutory rape reveals that some states provided important information about state intentions and experiences while others offered virtually no information. The reason some states may not have been forthcoming in their initial state plan is that some moved rapidly in order to access the TANF grant. Another reason is that the state plan provision appears to allow states to be deemed "complete" without offering much information.

The statutory language regarding the TANF plan merely requires a state to outline "how the state intends to" [emphasis added] establish out-of-wedlock numerical goals and conduct a statutory rape education program. The statute does not clearly require that the plan establish what numerical goal the state expects to pursue nor what type of statutory rape education program. This reading of the statute allows a state plan to be viewed as forever complete if the original state plan merely states there is plan to come up with a plan. This may or may not have been Congressional intent.

A more useful state plan document would include the actual out-of-wedlock goals and information about the statutory education program - not just information that there is a process in place to develop plans. It should be possible for HHS, when reviewing the next round of plan submissions (current plans are valid for two years) to request more specific information regarding what states intend to do in these areas. Even if HHS feels the statute does not allow it to mandate such information, a straightforward request would likely generate a straightforward response from states. In addition, there may be legislative opportunities for Congress to revisit this language.

In future requests for information from states regarding what states plan to do, it would be helpful to seek uniform data that allows comparability. For example, when states report numerical goals for reductions in out-of-wedlock births, the numbers should be expressed in a similar form by all states. This would help avoid having a national repository of difficult-to-compare information e.g. Pennsylvania offers a teen out-of-wedlock numerical goal of 28.15% in 1998 whereas Delaware seeks to reduce the "rate of pregnancy for adolescents age 15-19 by 5 percent a year".

Similarly, states should be given guidance to describe pregnancy prevention programs so that all states have the opportunity to address key questions such as:

  • Does the state have a priority target population regarding the reduction in out-of-wedlock births?
  • Is the state conducting evaluations of prevention programs?
  • Is the state planning to use TANF funds for any pregnancy prevention initiative?
  • Is there a prevention initiative in the state that appears to be particularly promising?

This information should help states identify others engaged in similar activity so that experiences can be shared.

Some states described a welfare/family planning initiative in their TANF plans. Making family planning services accessible and available to those welfare recipients who want to practice family planning is welcome.16 The TANF plans also reveal that a few states expect to impose sanctions when specific family planning activities are not adhered to. While only a few states mentioned such policies in their TANF plans, others may have such policies in place but not described them in their plans. HHS should collect more details on these state policies and provide states with guidance on this topic. Future HHS guidance should focus on how to ensure that individuals are not involuntarily required to practice family planning.

From state TANF plans it is virtually impossible to know anything about what states intend to do regarding statutory rape education. Again, for the next round of plans, HHS guidance regarding a set of central questions on this topic could help states frame their response. For example, how does the state's statutory rape education program:

  • address the potential interface with paternity establishment and child support enforcement?
  • address consensual sex albeit at an illegal age?
  • train statutory rape educators?

In sum, to improve the utility of the state TANF Plan provision:

  • HHS, in consultation with states and others, should identify a set of questions in each area that states should be invited to answer in future TANF plan submissions;
  • States should provide the information requested by HHS in order to facilitate information sharing between states;
  • Congress should re-visit the state plan provision to determine whether state plans should include actual information about plans rather than the mere statement that a state will engage in a planning process.

[State-by-State Table Available in Printed Report]


TANF Plan Provisions Related to
Out-of-Wedlock Birth and Statutory Rape


Submitted: 10/1/96

Certified: 12/7/96

Out-of-Wedlock. The plan notes that the Department of Human Resources and a variety of agencies will develop a task force to "evaluate out-of-wedlock births." The plan tracks statutory language, noting that the task force will "establish numerical goals for reducing the illegitimacy ratio of the state for calendar years 1996 through 2005."

Statutory Rape. The state basically tracks the statute's language and notes that the Department of Human Resources and a variety of agencies will address the problem.


Submitted: 5/30/97
Certified: 6/27/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The state has not yet but plans to develop goals for reducing out-of-wedlock births.

Teen Pregnancy. The plan notes that the Department is developing a plan to assist pregnant and parenting teens which will have a "strong focus on pregnancy prevention."

Family Planning. The state's not yet developed pregnancy prevention plan will "increase access to family planning services in census areas with high birth rates, and high numbers of unintended births to all ages." In addition, it will "improve knowledge about contraception and reproductive health through work with local communities with an emphasis on education for men as well as women."

Statutory Rape. The state plan indicates the state intends to design enhancements to current programs and new initiatives to provide education and training on statutory rape particularly targeted at men.


Submitted: 9/30/96
Certified: 11/1/96

Out-of-Wedlock. The plan specifies that Arizona's overall numerical goal for the year 2005 is to "reduce out-of-wedlock births to no more that 37.5% (30,770 births)." The current (1995) out-of-wedlock birth rate is 38.2%. The plan provides projections of the number of childbearing women in the state and assumes a constant rate of birth. The plan also specifies three distinct teen numerical goals regarding teen out of wedlock births. For the year 2005, Arizona's goals against the baseline year of 1995 are: (1) to maintain the birth rate in the under age 15 group at less than 1%; (2) to lower the birth rate in the 15-17 age group from 4% to 3.5%; and (3) to lower the birth rate in the 18-19 age group from 9% to 8.5%.

Teen Pregnancy. The plan identifies the 1994 rates of teen pregnancy for those under age 15, ages 15-17, and 18-19. It notes that data on marital status of those who were pregnant is not available.

Statutory Rape. The state plan basically tracks the statute's language.


Submitted: 5/21/97
Certified: 6/26/97

Out-of-Wedlock. While the state plan does not offer numerical goals nor when those might become available, it establishes a 5 component approach to "unmarried birth prevention" which "should be viewed as a process not a program." The 5 components are: abstinence programs using funding in the welfare reform act; improved access to family planning services statewide; community-based efforts in targeted counties; media campaign with emphasis on 11-24 year olds; and, a state-level steering committee to coordinate the efforts.

Teen Pregnancy. One of three objectives of the state's "Minor Parent Program" is to reduce the number of pregnancies occurring among the teenage population. The state also notes that "abstinence programs, especially those targeting 9 to 14 year olds, serve as our best hope for long term success" and indicates it intends to support "abstinence models that have been tested and found effective." The media campaign will include targeting teens with an initial concentration on electronic media, including Internet sites.

Family Planning. Under a 5 year Medicaid demonstration that began on July 1, 1997 all women of childbearing age in the state with incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level will be eligible for family planning services. A media campaign will accompany the demonstration. Applicants for TANF assistance are eligible and case managers will advise applicants of their eligibility as well as identify local service providers.

Statutory Rape. The state plan makes no reference to the statutory rape provision.


Submitted: 10/9/96
Certified: 12/7/96

Out-of-Wedlock. The plan describes the four components of the Governor's recently launched "Partnership for Responsible Parenting" which includes community challenge grants to support community-based strategies to reduce "teen and unwed pregnancies"; a media campaign; a mentoring initiative; and a "vertical prosecution" program regarding statutory rape. The plan also notes that the state has a "goal of reducing the incidence of pregnancies among females ages 17 and younger." However, the plan does not provide numerical goals for this population, the teen population or the overall population.

Teen Pregnancy. The plan lists five "significant teen pregnancy prevention programs" in addition to the multi-faceted "Partnership for Responsible Parenting." These are: a state-only family planning program; local male involvement programs designed to reduce teen pregnancies; information and education programs designed to help individuals "make responsible decisions regarding their reproductive health"; a "live at home" rule (with good cause exceptions) for pregnant or parenting teens; and, a "family cap" provision.

Family Planning. The state-funded family planning program is designed to expand "family planning services for low income women and men".

Statutory Rape. The plan describes three components of its Statutory Rape Program. Through the Statutory Rape Vertical Prosecution Program, a single prosecutor follows a specific case all the way through the judicial process. Further, as of January 1, 1997 civil penalties are increased for those who commit statutory rape. Through the Partnership for Responsible Parenting Media Campaign the state will develop an awareness campaign that "will stress male involvement and responsibilities in primary prevention of teen and unwed pregnancies, legal and social consequences of teen pregnancy (statutory rape, child support, etc.) and fatherhood responsibility." Through Male Involvement Programs, the state will award funds to 23 community agencies to undertake awareness, education, and counseling services for young males "to promote their role in reducing teen pregnancies." Among the topics covered are the legal and social consequences of out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and domestic violence prevention.


Submitted: 5/13/97
Certified: 6/27/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan establishes that each county's plan must seek to reduce out-of-wedlock births by at least 1% from 1995 levels and must describe specific measures that will be taken to achieve this reduction.

Family Planning. Those family planning services not available through Medicaid will be provided by Colorado.

Statutory Rape. The state plans to conduct training on statutory rape issues for state and county agency staff and law enforcement personnel and will seek stronger enforcement of statutory rape laws.


Submitted: 10/1/96
Certified: 1/22/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The plan identifies an existing Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coordinating Council established by the Governor that will expand its "scope" to include all out-of-wedlock pregnancies. The Council will also be responsible for a public awareness campaign and promotion of agency collaboration.

The Department is "currently working with the Department of Health Services to include the collection of marital status information on birth certificates to allow more accurate data collection on out-of-wedlock pregnancies."

While no overall numerical goals are provided in the plan, the state notes that these "are being established in collaboration with the Connecticut Progress Council" and that a teen numerical goal of 23 births per one thousand girls aged 10 to 17 by the year 2000 already has been established by the Council.

Teen Pregnancy. The state currently funds seven pregnancy prevention programs and grantees will now be required to add a component to "work more comprehensively with young males." A video and curriculum targeted at male responsibility will be distributed to middle schools and high schools. The agency also plans to recommend that "incentive grants be made available to the ten cities with highest teen birth rates for the development of a comprehensive community wide teen pregnancy prevention strategy."

Statutory Rape. The state plan describes a series of steps regarding enforcement of statutory rape laws including an interagency group responsible for developing a referral protocol and a special prosecutor for Hartford - the city with the highest rate of teen births. In addition, a media campaign is being developed that (1) educates young women "about their rights and the statutory rape laws" and (2) targets young men and informs them that "statutory rape is a crime...and will be prosecuted."


Submitted: 1/22/97
Certified: 4/ll/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan describes the family planning goals of the Department for 1997-2000 which are "to increase the percentage of adolescents choosing abstinence" and to reduce "the rate of unintended pregnancies to residents ages 15-44 by 3%"; "the rate of pregnancies to residents under age 15 by 5 percent a year"; the "rate of pregnancy for adolescents age 15-19 by 5 percent a year (from the projected rate of 61.64 for FY 96 to 58.59 for FY 97)"; and, "the repeat pregnancy rate among adolescents under age 19."

Teen Pregnancy. As part of the actions directed at out-of-wedlock pregnancy, the state plan describes statewide teen pregnancy prevention initiatives many of which are coordinated by a statewide public/private partnership, the Alliance for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. These include community awareness, school-based health centers and improved teen utilization of the state's family planning centers. Efforts are also underway to increase the availability of family life education in the schools.

Family Planning. The state's welfare waiver "requires adults and minor parent(s) to obtain family planning information from the provider of their choice"; further, there is a sanction imposed of $50 "for the failure, without good cause, to obtain family planning information. This reduction will increase each month by $50.00 either until there is compliance or the case is closed. The sanction will end when the adult and/or minor parent(s) obtains the family planning information at the provider of their choice."

Statutory Rape. The state plan notes that in 1996 the Sexual Predator Act was enacted that imposes more severe criminal sanctions on adult males who are significantly older than their victims. The new law requires that a variety of agencies establish a cooperative agreement that will specify the role of each agency in addressing the problem.


Submitted: 12/4/96
Certified: 4/2/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan essentially tracks the statutory language.

Statutory Rape. The state plan essentially tracks the statutory language.


Submitted: 9/20/96
Certified: 10/8/96

Out-of-Wedlock. Florida establishes numerical goals for out-of-wedlock births. For 1996 the goal is 35.26%; 1997's goal is 34.82%; the goal in 1998 is 34.38%; 1999's goal is 34.03% and continues a yearly decline such that in 2005 the ratio of out-of-wedlock births to total births is 32.13%. The rate in the most recent two years has increased; the ratio of out-of-wedlock births to total births in 1994 and 1995 was 35.73% and 35.76%, respectively.

Florida asserts programs and strategies to reduce out-of-wedlock births and teenage pregnancies "must be founded on voluntary principles." The state believes that voluntary participation is established by federal law since Title X [which establishes the federally funded family planning program] "provides that use of family planning services cannot be a condition for receiving public assistance." The plan describes the state's family planning program and a set of school health service programs. It describes the state's strategies for reducing unintended pregnancy in three categories: current, new, and those that will await savings from WAGES (the state's welfare program) implementation.

Teen Pregnancy. Among the current strategies for reducing unintended pregnancies is ENABL (Education Now and Babies Later), a public/private venture focused on an abstinence message for a preteen audience. A long term strategy involves community incentive grants for local collaborative teen pregnancy prevention initiatives. The initiatives are to address primary prevention and secondary prevention and are to include 14 specified components including reproductive health care, intervention strategies targeting younger siblings of teen mothers, and home visiting.

Family Planning. Among the new family planning strategies noted in the plan are an expansion of family planning information dissemination, emergency contraception, and male contraception services. Dissemination is to be provided through: one-stop centers for temporary cash assistance and WAGES work activities; child support enforcement offices; immunization clinics; and employers. A long term strategy calls for the implementation of a statewide protocol of the referral of Economic Services clients to family planning services and follow up by the Family Planning Program. In addition, in the long term, training is to be undertaken so that family planning services are integrated with WAGES work activities; this includes training case managers; offering monthly classes on family planning for those involved in WAGES work activities; and placing a nurse in WAGES work offices who would provide counseling, triage, and linkage to services.

Statutory Rape. The state plan describes and provides the language of a recent law that "specifically targets the issue of adult men who commit statutory rape." It highlights some current education/training strategies including the incorporation of training into the Interdisciplinary Rape Science Training Institute as well as education through the Comprehensive School Health Services Projects. New strategies include an expansion of the number of programs presented at schools, the development of a media campaign, and professional training programs for local communities. Among the long-term strategies are the inclusion of statutory rape information with services provided through a wide range of programs and the implementation of a statewide media campaign.


Submitted: 11/15/96
Certified: 1/21/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The state has not yet but will establish overall numerical goals for the reduction of out-of-wedlock births.

Teen Pregnancy. The state plan notes the existence of the Interdivisional Teen Pregnancy Prevention Committee which already addresses the issue of teen pregnancy; collaborative activities with other state agencies and community-based organizations will be undertaken. After-school programs and "other positive alternatives to early parenting will be supported and expanded."

Family Planning. The plan notes that as part of the eligibility process, all members of the family "identified as needing information regarding family planning" will be referred to such services. Further, "following through on a family planning referral is an obligation to be met by all parents and recipients of child-bearing age. Such follow-through will be linked with the DHR Interdivisional Teen Pregnancy Initiative." A list of "personal responsibility requirements" may require "attendance at family planning counseling" as well as "participation in parenting classes, including all teens whether or not they are parents" among other potential obligations.

Statutory Rape. The state plan basically tracks the statute's language and notes that the education program will include discussion of the "state law which increased the penalties for statutory rape for adult perpetrators."


Submitted: 4/7/97
Certified: 6/27/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The plan notes that a task force will be established that will establish numerical goals for calendar years 1997 through 2005.

Statutory Rape. The state plan language on statutory rape basically tracks the statute.


Submitted: 5/15/97

Certified: 6/27/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan indicates its objective is to reduce to no more that 30% the proportion of all pregnancies that are unintended." The plan notes that this objective is the same as the Year 2000 national objective. The plan also notes that paternity establishment for out-of-wedlock births is a problem and that the state is subject to sanctions if it fails to increase its paternity establishment rate.

Teen Pregnancy. The state plan reports that a state Council on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention has implemented a public education campaign focused on delaying the onset of sexual activity by targeting abstinence messages at 10-14 year olds. In addition to this media campaign and related educational materials, the state has two additional adolescent pregnancy goals: "to compile a bibliography of educational materials with an abstinence message and determine the most appropriate public access sites to house the bibliography"; and, "to involve communities in adolescent pregnancy prevention."

Family Planning. In order to meet its 30% objective, the state notes a number of activities including monitoring of family planning clinics, provision of services to new clients and funding incentives for agencies to "expand into hard to serve areas of the state."

Statutory Rape. The plan notes that the state contracts with non-profit organizations for community-based sexual assault prevention and training and plans to compile rape data from the law enforcement agency.


Submitted: 5/19/97
Certified: 7/1/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan describes an effort to target pregnancy prevention at three target populations: teens, TANF recipients, and all Illinois residents in an effort to address out-of-wedlock births. The plan does not provide numerical goals but indicates an intention to establish baseline data to determine current out-of-wedlock births and abortions in the state.

Teen Pregnancy. A task force will select among teen pregnancy prevention programs that have been successful that then could be implemented in target schools throughout the state. One possibility is the expansion of the Youth and Employment Training Initiative for teen children of AFDC mothers that has been implemented in 3 Chicago schools over the last 3 years and has had "success" in teen pregnancy reduction. In addition, other potential programs that may be explored include teen maundering, expanded life skills programs and incentive bonuses.

Statutory Rape. The state plan notes that a Domestic Violence Advisory Council will be consulted to develop a flexible program.


Submitted: 10/1/96
Certified: 11/1/96

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan does not provide numerical goals for the reduction of out-of-wedlock births, but indicates it is establishing such goals. The state's efforts to keep teen parents in school is described in the section of the plan describing actions regarding out-of-wedlock births.

Teen Pregnancy. Project Respect (Reducing Early Sex and Pregnancy by Educating Children and Teens), a statewide effort to encourage abstinence includes a television and radio campaign, local abstinence-focused programs, and a resource guide on pregnancy prevention services.

Statutory Rape. The plan notes that the state will undertake a statutory rape education program. Indiana enforces such rape offenses through its child molestation statute. The state notes that if a dependent child provides "proof" for herself and/or her child that safety or health is a problem, then the state may not require such a dependent child to reside with a parent or legal guardian as a condition of receiving assistance.


Submitted: 11/15/96
Certified: 1/21/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan notes that numerical goals will be established in consultation with the public and the state Legislature. The state plan further notes that the state has programs that address the issue.

Family Planning. The plan indicates that "information about family planning counseling services is provided by PROMISE JOBS and the Family Development and Self-Sufficiency program."

Statutory Rape. The state plan notes that adolescent males are already included in state and community level adolescent pregnancy prevention and parenting programs. The state says it "will work to identify opportunities for appropriate program expansion."


Submitted: 10/1/96
Certified: 11/27/96

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan notes that it has developed a six month time line for the ad-hoc Teen Pregnancy Committee which will have a new expanded scope and be reconvened to develop out-of-wedlock goals for the state.

Teen Pregnancy. The plan notes that the ad-hoc Teen Pregnancy Committee was established following enactment of 1994 legislation which directed that a teen pregnancy case management initiative be created.

Statutory Rape. The state plan basically tracks the statute's language and notes that the ad-hoc Teen Pregnancy Committee will carry out the initiative.


Submitted: 9/30/96
Certified: 11/18/96

Out-of-Wedlock. The state's goals are to reduce the out-of-wedlock birth ratio by 2% in 1996 and 1997; 1.5% in 1998; and 1% for each of the years 1999 - 2002. The out-of-wedlock birth rate in Kentucky in 1994 was 27.6%.

Teen Pregnancy. Among other "special activities" the state is planning a sustained abstinence media campaign, making proven curricula related to teen pregnancy prevention more available, increasing the number of after school programs, and holding a statewide summit on teenage pregnancy.

Family Planning. A Teen Parent Personal Responsibility Plan identifies the "employment, education, parenting, housing and family planning goals of the recipient" as well as the "responsibilities of the teen parent, the teens' parents (or responsible adult) and state agency in meeting the goals of the participant." The Responsibility Plan is required at the conclusion of the assessment process.

Statutory Rape. In the state plan's listing of "special activities" to reduce teenage pregnancy the state indicates that "studies and recommendations will be made related to promoting male responsibility, including fatherhood programs. Areas of review include strengthening current laws, penalties and prosecution of statutory rape, establishment of paternity..."


Submitted: 10/1/96
Certified: 1/10/97

Out-of-Wedlock. No numerical goals or plans for such goals are described in the plan. The state notes that a multi-agency pilot program will be undertaken in New Orleans to address out-of-wedlock pregnancies and that there will be gradual expansion to other areas of the state.

Statutory Rape. The New Orleans pilot project noted above is also designed to address the issue of statutory rape.


Submitted: 9/30/96
Certified: 11/27/96

Out-of-Wedlock. The plan establishes teen numerical goals for the reduction of the teen pregnancy rate. The plan calls for a decline from the 1992 baseline of 0.7 per 1,000 for 10-14 year olds down to 0; 37.9 per 1,000 for 15-17 year olds down to 30; and 101.4 per 1,000 for 18-19 year olds down to 80 by the year 2005. No overall numerical goals are set.

Teen Pregnancy. Adult supervised living arrangements for minor parents as well as restrictions that limit benefits to voucher payments are both described in the plan as "intended to discourage teen pregnancies." In addition, the Department, in conjunction with other agencies, has produced pamphlets regarding the "rights and responsibilities" of both male and female parents and is working with other agencies to produce a movie on teen pregnancy that will be distributed to high schools in 1997.

Family Planning. An intensive "Peer Education Project" to increase the use of family planning services by AFDC recipients particularly those "recipients at risk of repeat pregnancy, recipients who are minors and individuals at risk of becoming recipients" has been implemented. The Project "recruits, trains, and if funding is available, provides permanent employment for AFDC recipients as peer education workers."

Statutory Rape. The plan simply notes that the Department will work with the Legislature on the issue of statutory rape.


Submitted: 9/27/96
Certified: 1/10/97

Out-of-Wedlock. Maryland explicitly notes that the state's "primary effort is to prevent unintended pregnancies" because the "majority of out-of-wedlock births...result from unintended pregnancies." The state already has a plan to reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock births by 1% in 1997 and expects that the measures taken to achieve this goal will be continued and will continue to decrease out-of-wedlock births in future years. The state expects to target different age groups over time. In addition, the state plans to target at least 6 counties and Baltimore City since out-of-wedlock births are more prevalent in these geographic areas. The state plan attaches a 19 page document "Reducing Out-of-Wedlock Births" developed by the Family Health and Parenting Welfare Reform Workgroup. The document notes that a "1% reduction in out-of-wedlock births is equivalent to about 250 births, based on 1994 numbers. Concentrating only on adolescents would therefore produce insufficient results to achieve the 250 birth reduction; efforts must also be targeted to women over age 19 as well."

Teen Pregnancy. The state reports that it has developed a comprehensive approach to the risk factors associated with adolescent pregnancy including (1) improvements in education including access to contraceptives and other health promotion services to reach out-of-school adolescents; (2) community based programs; (3) enhanced social services; (4) employment development and (5) a variety of health initiatives. A variety of state agencies as well as private and non-profit organizations are part of a steering committee responsible for the "continued development of this plan" which also requires "support at the local level."

Statutory Rape. The Governor's Council on Adolescent Pregnancy has undertaken a survey of professionals in the field in order to "determine the best course of action. An interagency task force is being formed that will develop a comprehensive plan. It is expected that the plan, which will be completed by April, 1997, will include (1) a male awareness campaign; (2) an education/training program for law enforcement officials; (3) a plan to increase awareness through the public schools; and (4) enhancement of existing counseling programs.


Submitted: 9/23/96
Certified: 1/28/97

Out-of-Wedlock. While no numerical goals are provided, the state plan notes that the state has "one of the lowest teen birth rates in the country," yet a high percentage of those are to unmarried teens (89.1 % compared to 71.3% nationally). The plan notes that the Department will work with a variety of agencies to develop "achievable goals."

Statutory Rape. A 1996 Governor's order directed the Department of State Police to increase efforts related to the "prosecution and prevention" of statutory rape. Current lesson plans on topics such as teen dating violence will further emphasize statutory rape.


Submitted: 8/27/96
Certified: 9/30/96

Out-of-Wedlock. While no numerical goals are provided, the state plan notes that a task force will assess the issue. Based on the task force findings, goals and actions including numerical goals will be established for "calendar years 1966 (sic) through 2005."

Statutory Rape. The state plan language on statutory rape basically tracks the statute.


Submitted: 10/1/96
Certified: 11/27/96

Out-of-Wedlock. While no numerical goals are provided, the state plan notes that a task force will assess the issue. Based on the task force findings, goals and actions including numerical goals will be established for "federal fiscal year 1997 through calendar year 2005."

Statutory Rape. The state plan language on statutory rape basically tracks the statute.


Submitted: 10/1/96
Certified: 12/23/96

Out-of-Wedlock. While no numerical goals are provided, the state plan notes that a task force on "non-marital birth programs" will be "designated to develop program and implementation processes."

Statutory Rape. The state plan notes that a task force will be developed on the issue.


Submitted: 11/1/96
Certified: 2/13/97

Out-of-Wedlock. While no numerical goals are provided, the state plan notes that statewide educational efforts will be continued regarding out-of-wedlock births and numerical goals will be established.

Statutory Rape. The state plan language on statutory rape basically tracks the statute in abbreviated form.


Submitted: 10/1/96
Certified: 12/7/96

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan tracks the statute; however, an attachment notes that the state has established numerical goals for the reduction of teen pregnancy as part of "Nebraska Year 2000." For adolescents aged 15 to 17 the established goal is to reduce the pregnancy rate to no more than 30 pregnancies/1,000 adolescents (the 1992 rate in Nebraska for this group was approximately 32.85/1,000). An objective of no more than 25 teen births per 1,000 teens has been set for the year 2000 "with the related objective of reducing the percentage of second or subsequent births among unmarried teens to 14% by the year 2000."

Teen Pregnancy. The state plan attaches a 49 page document on teen pregnancy and out-of-wedlock births that examines national and state data and offers recommendations. The document notes that "Although Nebraska has not had a direct initiative on the prevention of teen pregnancy in recent years" the state offered a set of recommendations in the "Year 2000 Report." The report suggests a set of possible approaches to teen pregnancy prevention including school-based clinics, media campaigns, and targeted educational efforts.

Statutory Rape. The state plan language basically tracks the statute.


Submitted: 10/18/96
Certified: 12/24/96

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan does not provide any numerical goal or articulate that any is forthcoming regarding a reduction in out-of-wedlock births. Instead, the state describes teen pregnancy strategies.

Teen Pregnancy. A four year initiative, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program targets youth age 9-14 with an abstinence-based message, supports a statewide media campaign, and parental involvement, among other activities. The initiative follows a series of meetings that recommended the state pursue an abstinence-based message "combined with anatomical information, contraception methods and their use, and positive information regarding life options..."

Statutory Rape. The Nevada Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council will be charged with designing a program related to statutory rape.


Submitted: 10/1/96
Certified: 11/12/96

Out-of-Wedlock. Teen numerical goals call for a reduction in the "non-marital" teen birth rate to 21.0 per 1,000 (baseline 1994 22.3 per 1,000) by the year 2005. A separate numerical goal is noted for women ages 20-24; for this age group, the goal is a reduction in the non-marital birth rate to 33.0 per 1,000 (baseline 35.1 per 1,000). The plan notes that "because there are so many variables that can affect the birth rate and because it is very difficult to predict trends and changes, we will monitor the data and reevaluate the goals each year from 1997 to 2005."

Teen Pregnancy. The Adolescent Parenting and Pregnancy Prevention Work Group, part of the Governor's Welfare Reform Council, is comprised of state and non-state agency representatives and is planning four initiatives. These initiatives are (1) an information campaign with a particular focus on male responsibility, (2) an outreach effort directed at schools and out-of-school youth, (3) a May, 1997, campaign kick-off conference, and (4) a demonstration project that evaluates one community's plan. One component of the teen pregnancy prevention plan is "to provide home visiting to teens who may be at-risk of becoming pregnant."

Statutory Rape. The Teen Pregnancy Prevention initiative will include a special emphasis on male responsibility and messages regarding statutory rape will be included. Law enforcement officials will be involved in planning and implementation. The Department expects to review "the efforts of other states."


Submitted: 10/15/96
Certified: 1/29/97

Out-of-Wedlock. Based on the findings and recommendations of a task force, New Jersey will establish goals and take action regarding out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

Statutory Rape. The state plan tracks statutory language on statutory rape.


Submitted: 10/17/96
Certified: 12/13/96

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan language basically tracks the statute.

Statutory Rape. The state plan language basically tracks the statute.


Submitted: 4/4/97
Certified: 6/5/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan does not identify numerical goals but notes that by September 30, 1997, a formal plan will be established that address out-of-wedlock birth reduction.

Teen Pregnancy. The state plans notes that by September 30, 1997, it will have a specific plan to counter teen pregnancy and that such activities "will be funded through state and/or federal funds other than TANF."

Statutory Rape. The state plan notes that a statutory rape education plan will be formalized by September 30, 1997, and will include facts sheets regarding the problem and meetings to address prosecution of cases.


Submitted: 10/18/96
Certified: 1/10/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan language basically tracks the statute and notes that action and goals will be established by July 1, 1997.

Statutory Rape. The state plan language basically tracks the statute.


Submitted: 5/1/97
Certified: 6/26/97

Out-of-Wedlock. The state plan identifies an overall numerical goal of a 2% reduction in out-of-wedlock births per year "allowing for adjustments of that goal based on future births and trends." The plan notes that between 1993 and 1994 the state experienced a 2.1% reduction in out-of-wedlock births. The plan also notes that marriage is encouraged through a disregard of stepparent income for six months "when a person on assistance marries." Further, the plan notes that "other methods will be sought to remove the penalty of marriage from program regulations."

Teen Pregnancy. The state plan notes that the Department will use a training packet on preventing out-of-wedlock pregnancies to "present to all children, age 13 and over, that are part of our system." The training packet will include information on abstinence and family planning. Abstinence education grants may be made competitively in each of the 8 regions of the state.

The state plan describes the adult-supervised living arrangement as a "vehicle" to address pregnancy prevention.

Family Planning. The state plan indicates that the state welfare agency's assessment instrument will directly ask families "if they want to have more children

site by Trilogy Interactive