Nothing brings my social work day to a complete standstill than news of a pregnant teenager. Well maybe complete standstill is a bit dramatic,but it’s close enough to the feeling I get. This is not good news by any stretch of the imagination. For a residential social worker this is a disaster because the above statement applies “IM PREGNANT….WHAT DO I DO NOW????” It
is a reality that the teenager will sit with you in the office and stare at you blankly. It is up to you to make the plan for what
happens now that the teenager is pregnant.
Somehow I sit and think of how upset and disappointed I can be. I am upset because I have to think for someone. I am upset because I have to come up with a plan for someone’s life when they themselves have no insight. I am upset because I know it starts here and before you know it a young girl has two kids before she is 20, three kids before she is even 25. I am upset because I know I cannot control their movements and they will still go and have unprotected sex as if they have not been taught better. I am upset because the circumstances are not right and a teenager being pregnant just carries on the cycle of poverty. Because what are you going to give to your child when you yourself rely on the children’s home for all your needs? I am upset
because you are giving birth to an already disadvantaged child; imagine the child already has no choice but to be where you are…which is in a children’s home!!!
ON THE FLIP SIDE:
Ok, there is a lot I am upset about. But then as a social worker it is the principle to not judge your clients. I have to use my skill of
empathy and put myself in the pregnant teenager’s shoes. I can imagine the fear you have finding out you are going to be a mother at your age…. I can imagine the thought of your family and friends finding out leaves you feeling scared and embarrassed….I can imagine the fear of your boyfriend refusing to accept the pregnancy or you already know he cannot provide for you….You thought he loved you and he promised to be there always but where is he now…You feel rejected…I can imagine the stress and thousand questions in your head. You worry about your body, you worry about school, and you worry about what people are going to say. Then you think let me get an abortion but you are so scared even of that.
AT THE END OF THE DAY:
As much as I would want to throttle the pregnant teenager for not knowing any better I understand the need for more support than ever at this point. The need for guidance not to make a more life-altering decision such as abortion or suicide becomes necessary. So as we sit and try to figure out a plan I have to be constantly aware of the emotions going through the teenager’s mind at this point. Roles are going to change; the teenager has to realize that they have to become more responsible at this point. The social worker can only try so much….at this point it is really up to the pregnant teenager to make a decision. A non-judgmental attitude is absolutely necessary for the social worker to employ. But one cannot help wondering that in this day of contraception including morning-after/emergency contraception teenagers still go out and get pregnant. I conclude it is the lack of education and also the fear of service providers that once the teenagers are educated and allowed access to contraception
that they will go wild and never think of protected sex. *bigsigh*.
WHAT TO DO!!!!!