Juvenile Law Center

Reproductive Rights, Pregnancy, and Parenting

Resources for Pregnant and Parenting Teens in Pennsylvania

Is there special medical coverage for pregnant women?

Yes. Most pregnant teens who are low income are eligible for Medical Assistance (MA). MA is general medical insurance that covers any services that are medically necessary for the recipient. If you are pregnant, you will receive prenatal care through your MA coverage. If you are in substitute care (foster care), you will most likely be receiving MA. If you are not in care, you should apply for MA at the local county assistance office.

What health coverage is available for my baby?

Most newborns and children up until age 6 are eligible for health care coverage through the Healthy Beginnings programs through their Medical Assistance coverage. After age six, your child will likely be eligible for Medical Assistance or coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Make sure you apply at your local county assistance office. You can also apply online.

What is the Nurse-Family Partnership?

The Nurse-Family Partnership is a great program for first-time moms of any age. A nurse will visit you while you are pregnant and until your child is two years old.

The nurse will help you and your baby stay healthy and will help you with parenting skills and with finding community resources for you and your child. Go to the www.nursefamilypartnership.org to find contact information for a program in your area.

Are there programs for teen parents in schools?

Yes. Most public schools in Pennsylvania have a program for teen parents called Education Leading to Employment and Training (ELECT).

These programs provide many services to teen moms and dads, including child care or help finding child care, tutoring, employment readiness skills, and parenting instruction.

What is the Women Infants and Children (WIC) Program?

WIC is a program that provides supplemental food and nutrition services to pregnant women and their children until they turn age 5. Pregnant women, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and children under age five who are low income may be eligible for WIC. WIC provides foods like milk, cheese, and eggs. WIC also provides referrals for other services for parents and their children. You can apply for WIC at your local WIC office. Philadelphia residents can find their local WIC office by calling 1-800-743-3300 or visiting http://www.northwic.org/Overview/index.html.

What other programs will help keep me and my child healthy?

In addition to the Nurse-Family Partnership Program, county health departments often have special services for young parents. Call your county health department to find out about services you may want to take advantage of. Please also see the following fact sheets for helpful information for teen parents: Early Childhood Education and Intervention and Low Income Child Care.


Last updated December 2011


Juvenile Law Center's fact sheets are sponsored by The Alex Benjamin Norris Memorial Fund.

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