Lessons from the Network of Trust Video Project for Expectant and Parenting Teens ages 15-24 in Southwest Georgia

Angela Johnson, MBA, Public Administration, Albany State University, Albany, GA and Katherine Handwerk, MPA, Phoebe Network of Trust, Phoebe Putney Health System, Albany, GA


Historically expectant and parenting teens have been a special population that can be difficult to reach. They often have limited time to participate in programs because they are already working to balance parenting, education, work, and social life. Additionally, there is a stigma attached to being a teen parent that can cause them to be less likely to reach out for help or attend programming. The Stronger Together Project under Albany State University worked with community partners and young parents in 18 southwest Georgia counties to develop networks and innovations focusing on delaying additional pregnancies, preventing STI’s, improving health, and supporting expectant and parenting youth ages 15-24.

Program background:

Phoebe Network of Trust is a teen parenting program that has been implementing school based teen parenting classes for teen parents in 5 counties in southwest Georgia for thirty years. The Network of Trust Video Project was developed as an effort to reach expectant and parenting youth with important health information for themselves and their babies during a time when COVID-19 caused face to face programming to be unavailable. The project worked with a group of expectant and parenting teens to develop 6 videos on health and wellness topics that were important to them, utilized language they understood, contained content they chose, and featured people that they chose. The videos also provided additional resources at the end of each video. The videos were posted on YouTube so that links to videos could be emailed and/or texted to young parents.

Evaluation Methods and Results:

A pilot program is currently being conducted and results will be available before the conference. Expectant and parenting teens complete a pre survey, watch one video per week for 6 weeks, and then complete a post survey. Surveys utilize survey monkey so that links can be sent via email/text. Video links are sent via email/text. Surveys included questions for program evaluation of the videos, as well as measures for change in knowledge, confidence in ability to perform protective behaviors, and motivation to perform protective factors. Preliminary results show that participants liked the video format, found the video content to be valuable, and stated that they were learning new information from the videos.


Including Expectant and Parenting teens from the beginning of the project allowed them to share their voice and be effective and productive members of the video development project. It also ensured that the videos were relevant and age appropriate. Utilizing text messaging to communicate with youth was effective to improve engagement in watching videos and completing surveys. The use of reminder text/emails was helpful to youth.

Implications for research and/or practice:

A similar video project could be implemented with other target groups and/or around other health topics. It is important to include members of the target population in development of materials and innovations from the conception through implementation so that all aspects of the project are relevant to and appropriate for the target.