Drug use, teen pregnancy top teen concerns, survey says
By Matthew Burgoyne
Teen pregnancy is still a concern for the citizens of Morgan County, according to a survey completed by Family Connections.
Beginning in 1996, the Morgan County branch of Family Connections has strived to help the community combat issues that affect children and families, including teen pregnancy, drug use and high school drop out rates.
“Family Connections is a collaborative of all social and human service agencies in Morgan County,” said Family Connections Coordinator Karen Robertson.
As part of their protocol, Family Connections began a series of surveys and discussion groups in January of this year to assess what the needs of the community are. Robertson organized numerous different discussion groups to hear what the citizens of Morgan County have to say. She and her colleagues met with grandparents that are raising their grandchildren, the Leadership Morgan class and the Boys and Girls Club. The students at the Boys and Girls Club, ranging from ages 11 to 15, said that marijuana use, drug sales and teen pregnancy were the three biggest issues impacting their peers.
The purpose of the surveys is to help Family Connections decide what issues need to be focused on for the next three years. The organization works in three-year increments, with 2008 being the first year in a new three-year set. The information gathered these past three months will help the group create its comprehensive plan for the next three years.
The results of this survey found an increase in teen pregnancy, a large percentage of students not in school or at work and an increase of high school dropouts.
“The collaboration has taken on the challenge of finding out who these are and helping them,” said Robertson.
Robertson believes in this process and thinks it is important for the community to work together to help combat some of these issues. She wants to make Morgan County better through the work of Family Connections.
“Family Connections is important because it is the only diverse and collective voice in the county that looks at issues concerning the well being for children and families,” said Robertson.