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A new, $200,000 grant awarded to Racine Unified will provide additional case managers to help keep teen parents in school.

Funded through the Office of Adolescent Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the In School Pregnant and Parenting Interventions, Resources and Education (InSPIRE) project grant will staff an additional nurse case manager, according to a story in The Journal Times.

Teen parents are more likely to drop out of school and face significant employment obstacles, and their children are more likely to face hardships than kids born to older parents. By providing greater access to case managers, the goal of the grant is to keep teen parents in school, teach them positive parenting skills and make the connection to higher education.

Sue Stroupe, the district’s director of health services, told the newspaper that the state requires a program for teen parents, and this grant is renewable each year for the next three years, bringing the total amount of the grant to about $800,000.

“We’ll increase the nursing presence,” she is quoted as saying. “Research shows your case managers will make or break your program and also that nurses tend to be very successful case managers with school-aged parents.”

Nurse case managers work with students on a one-on-one basis, with small groups and/or make home visits, the story reads. They partner with school counselors to make sure teen parents are taking the right classes and keeping up with their coursework. Nurse case managers also address healthcare issues like prenatal and postnatal care, general nutrition and more.

There are 209 current program participants throughout the district.