framing the problem

In your paper:

  • Describe the problem you have identified.
  • Justify the selection by describing why this is a significant  problem worth addressing. Provide evidence demonstrating the extent of  the problem. Also, describe the impact the problem is having on macro  level of practice.
  • Summarize and synthesize the peer-reviewed literature related to the identified problem.
  • ******Evaluate relevant theories and models found within the  literature. Be sure to explore macro level theories or models related to  your chosen problem. In your evaluation, explain the impact these  theories and models may have on the identified problem and whether the  impact improves or makes the problem worse.
  • Analyze and synthesize best practice skills and strategies  related to the problem found within the literature. Explore the variety  of strategies used to reduce the problem. These strategies could be  about social change or about advocacy.
  • Combine these strategies and skills into a holistic plan to address the problem, after reviewing the literature.      

    Be sure that your plan contains a minimum of three integrated strategies.
    Explain your reasoning using details and peer-reviewed literature.
    Describe which types of strategies best apply to the problem  (for example, social change strategies, advocacy strategies, et cetera).

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Framing the Problem of Increased Teen Pregnancies

Patrice Scope


Capella University


Framing the Problem of Increased Teen Pregnancies

Framing is essential for successfully implementing actions geared toward identifying and changing community aspects contributing to the development of significant problems. There are three core framing tasks in macro practice social work; diagnostic, prognostic, and motivational (Netting et al., 2017). Through a framework for assessing societal issues from a macro level, a social worker can provide solutions for problems plaguing the community. This paper focuses mainly on prognostic framing, whereby solutions are proposed regarding the approaches to tackle the issue of teen pregnancies. The program aims to mobilize diverse groups of organizations and individuals committed to improving the lives of youth in NYC. Teenage pregnancies lead to the development of other societal problems such as increased substance use, maternal mortality, and deviancy in adolescents; hence strategies should be formulated to tackle the issue.

The societal problem can be viewed from various perspectives because multiple factors often cause them. The framing and reframing of a problem enable the practitioner to approach the problem with an open mind, seeking solutions applicable to the specific issue in the target community. A social worker should be open to learning from the community before implementing the strategies to ensure the projects are sustainable. There are multiple factors that contribute to the increase in teenage pregnancies. For example, poverty, social stigma, mental illness, peer pressure, insecurity, poor parental supervision, lack of awareness on the dangers of early pregnancies, and substance abuse (Kaphagawani & Kalipeni, 2017). The factors above can be categorized into social, economic and cultural factors. However, measures can be put in place to eliminate the risk factors by implementing policies or developing programs aiding at-risk groups.

New York City (NYC) has been experiencing a decline in teen pregnancies due to the implementation of strategies combating the problem. A survey revealed that the pregnancy rate among NYC teenagers aged 15 to 19 declined by 60 percent or by approximately 16000 between 2000 and 2015. The Neighborhood Health Action Centers (NHAC) study was conducted on teenagers in schools in action center areas. The NHAC is a department established by the health department to work with the community in improving local conditions for good health. The highest pregnancy rates were observed in poor neighborhoods, especially among Black, Hispanic, and Asian teens (Fisher et al., 2019). Poor neighborhoods are areas with individuals with incomes below the federal poverty level.

The state coalition’s mission statement is to lower adolescent pregnancy rates in NYC by providing adolescent pregnancy prevention information and education and liaising with programs advocating for youth health issues state and nationwide. The program aims to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies among sexually active teenagers of disparage groups located in poor neighborhoods. The goal is to be achieved by availing resources to ensure that sexually active teenagers can access family planning care. Also, the program will plan to advocate for sponsorship programs for the target group by coordinating with the school administration they are enrolled in, partnering with other community groups and businesses that provide mentorship to provide job shadowing opportunities to the at-risk group.

Strategies to Tackle Teen Pregnancies

Incorporating and coordinating other community efforts that pursue youth health issues ensures that the program will succeed in the long term. In addition, it will provide the program with an opportunity to learn from the failures and successes of the existing network. However, there should be an open communication channel between the programs involved to keep each updated and prevent overlapping responsibilities and duplication of efforts. Coordination also helps save time and resources.

The program also aims to work with the school administration and teachers in middle and high schools reporting high teen pregnancy rates. The goal would be to ensure that health care services are availed to the students and seminars are conducted to educate teens on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, the importance of safe sex and the negative consequences of early childbearing (Mollborn, 2010). The program will implement the initiatives in schools without school-based health centers. The programs will ensure that the adolescents are aware of the resources available to them in caring for their health, such as the venues to access contraception and condoms.

The initiative will implement self-help programs that provide adolescents with resources to educate them on the dangers of teen pregnancies. The resources will ensure that teens become knowledgeable about being sexually responsible. Moreover, the websites will be monitored daily to answer queries and take suggestions from the teens and their parents on ideas for prevention strategies that would be most effective in their neighborhoods. Teen-friendly mobile applications with a clinic locator will be availed to NYC teens using GPS technology which directs them to locations that distribute free condoms (Spear & Lock, 2003). The application also updates the youths on periods when clinics in their locations offer free pregnancy tests, emergency and oral contraceptives, and limited reproductive health services.

The program seeks to capitalize on the community’s already established network of opportunities, coordinating between the involved service groups that are working with the target group to ensure cooperation. The program will honor and build upon the available links in the community and introduce several allies and resources to streamline the network, bridging the gap and fulfilling unmet needs. The only programs that will be included are those that contribute to a reduction in the rate or show promise of achieving the objectives. The goal is to involve the community in implementing the solutions, thereby increasing compliance from the teens, parents, educators, and religious leaders. Synchronized coordination provides flexibility and presents an opportunity to choose activities and timeframes that are realistic and interesting to the target group. Additionally, working on an already established network is time-saving and reduces the costs needed to secure new resources.

The program seeks federal funding to conduct campaigns that support initiatives advocating for youth health care. The program will work closely with the NYC Health Department’s Bureau of Maternal, Infant, and Reproductive Health and Office of School Health. The program management also seeks to lobby for funds from private donors and private charity organizations. The program will work closely with other programs that tackle other risk factors contributing to juvenile delinquency and deviance, such as substance abuse (Basch, 2011). Also, the program will collaborate with community projects supporting individuals suffering from mental health issues in poor neighborhoods.


Practitioners frame issues because the problems can be viewed from various perspectives and are caused by different factors working simultaneously. A one-dimensional approach would be counterproductive as it would limit the effectiveness of implementing an all-inclusive approach. There are three main framing tasks in a macro-level social approach, that is, motivational, prognostic, and diagnostic. Diagnostic deals with identifying a problem and its analysis, prognostic aims at proposing solutions or strategies to the identified problem, and motivational rallies support to advocate for change in the community. Teenage pregnancies in NYC have been declining due to the introduction of policies and development of programs increasing the awareness of the dangers of early pregnancies.

However, some neighborhoods have recorded high rates of teen pregnancies, specifically those with residents earning below the federal poverty level. Also, teen pregnancies are high among communities with large numbers of Hispanic, Black, and Asian individuals. The factors contributing to teenage pregnancies are social, economic, and cultural. Some of the strategies to tackle teenage pregnancies are; coordinating between the programs already developed in the communities pursuing youth health, lobbying for funds from private businesses, local programs, and the federal government in campaigning for safe sex, and introducing self-help resources such as mobile apps and websites to educate families. Social workers should be open-minded when framing societal issues to gain in-depth knowledge that will enable them to implement effective strategies.


Basch, C. E. (2011). Teen pregnancy and the achievement gap among urban minority youth.
Journal of School Health, 81(10), 614-618.

Fisher, R., Danza, P., McCarthy, J., & Tiezzi, L. (2019). Provision of contraception in New York City school‐based health centers: Impact on teenage pregnancy and avoided costs, 2008–2017.
Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 51(4), 201-209.

Kaphagawani, N. C., & Kalipeni, E. (2017). Sociocultural factors contributing to teenage pregnancy in Zomba district, Malawi.
Global public health, 12(6), 694-710.

Mollborn, S. (2010). Predictors and consequences of adolescents’ norms against teenage pregnancy.
The Sociological Quarterly, 51(2), 303-328.

Netting, F. E., Kettner, P. M., McMurtry, S. L., & Thomas, M. L. (2017).
Social work macro practice (6th ed). Pearson.

Spear, H. J., & Lock, S. (2003). Qualitative research on adolescent pregnancy: a descriptive review and analysis
. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 18(6), 397-408.

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