Family Preservation and Healthy Outcomes for Pregnant and Parenting Teens in Foster Care: The Inwood House Theory of Change

Lisa D. Lieberman, Linda Lausell Bryant, Keneca Boyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Teens in foster care give birth at more than twice the rate of other teens in the United States. Significant challenges exist for these most vulnerable teens and their babies. To preserve teens’ families, programs and services need to be able to improve teens’ prospects for parenting success, delay subsequent pregnancies, and reduce intergenerational placement in care. The Inwood House theory of change for pregnant and parenting teens is a roadmap for providing the range and types of services that have the potential to improve outcomes for these most vulnerable families. The theory of change builds on insights and data from a demonstration project which took place in the residential program of a New York City foster care agency, with an approach that addressed the developmental needs of adolescents and the practical needs of parenting. Inwood House’s experience provided insights into the role of a theory of change focused on the development of young people, not only their protection, to improve the health and well-being of young mothers and their babies, and reduce intergenerational placement in care. Insights and data derived from this project, which reflect the challenges of research in foster care, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-39
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Family Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015



  • development need
  • foster care
  • pregnant teens
  • theory of change

Cite this