Social exclusion is the failure of society to provide certain individuals and groups, with the rights and benefits that are normally available to its members. They may be excluded due to a number of factors age, gender, race, educational background, neighbourhood, class and more (Giddens, 2001). Social exclusion can be experienced by anyone, but certain groups have been found to be more susceptible. It is a genuine problem that needs to be addressed properly. The Social Exclusion Unit (SEU) was set up by the Prime Minister in 1997, to help improve Government action to reduce social exclusion by joining together the solutions and the problems. However due to the multidimensional issues it can be very difficult to measure. Social Inclusion is however about involving everyone in society, making sure all have the same opportunities to work or take part in social activities, regardless of any disability or factor from which they may feel excluded. The group selected to experience is teenage mothers. The focus will be on social exclusion and how this can affect the health and wellbeing of teenage mothers. Identify strategies that are in place to help provide health care and support to teenage mothers. Explore how this can impact on opportunities available and why it matters in the long term. Compare the findings over a period of time and understand why teenage mothering is commonly seen as both personally and socially undesirable (Holgate, Evans and Yuen, 2006). Discussion
Teenage mothers are generally referred to as girls aged under 18 (13-17 inclusive) who are under the legal age of adulthood. In February 2011 the annual conception data for 2009 was published which show that England’s teenage pregnancy rates is steadily falling. The birth rate for under-18’s has dropped 27% from 1998-2009.These are the lowest rates in nearly 30 years. However England still has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe (Teenage Pregnancy Associates, 2011). Teenage pregnancy often increases health inequalities which can lead to poor long-term outcomes for young parents and their children. Death rates and low birth-weights are higher in children of teenage mothers. Young mothers are more likely to get post-natal depression and at a higher risk of long term mental illness. They are more likely to smoke and less likely to breast feed. May struggle to complete education and find it difficult to gain employment. Teenage pregnancy can increase child poverty which increases the risk of poor health and living in poor housing (Teenage Pregnancy Associates, 2011). These factors contribute to young parents and their children facing long-term economic challenges. There is a strong economic argument for preventing teenage pregnancy for every £1 the NHS spends on contraception; £11 is saved in abortion, ante-natal and maternity costs (Teenage Pregnancy Associates, 2011). Teenage pregnancy also costs the taxpayer in terms of benefits and income support. Teenage parents are often more likely to be allocated social housing. Teenage mothers are also more likely to need support for parenting, budgeting, education, employment and training. The SEU report Teenage Pregnancy in June (1999) highlighted two policy aims to reduce the rate of teenage conceptions and getting more teenage parents into education, training or employment to reduce their risk of long-term social exclusion. Effective ways to help reduce teenage pregnancy are identified as providing young people with information and choices regarding contraception, sex, and protection against sexually transmitted infections. Access to young-people centered contraceptive services. Early intervention to help prevent teenage mothers getting pregnant again too quickly and support for education and employment. The reality of bringing up a child often alone and usually on a low income is misunderstood by teenagers and they are often quite unprepared for it. They do not know how easy...
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