Date of Conferral



Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Kenneth M. Larimore


Strategies Employed by High School Social Workers to Help Young Mothers Remain in High School


Rosetta Stephens

MSW, Monmouth University, 2014

BA, Kean University, 2005

Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillments

of Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Social Work

Walden University

November 2019

The focus of this study was to explore the ways high school social workers employ 6 evidence-based strategies to foster academic persistence among young mothers currently enrolled in high school. High school social workers are often tasked with helping young mothers overcome the challenges associated with motherhood. It is necessary for social workers to assess students’ personal situations and provide support and resources to assist. High school social workers are essential to addressing the problem of pregnancy among young mothers between the ages of 15 and 19 years old. The roles of high school social workers are essential to ensuring academic persistence among young mothers. A qualitative action research study design was employed to explore the research-based strategies employed by high school social workers in New Jersey to assist young mothers. Data was collected via focus groups. Results indicated school social workers personally fostered relationships with young mothers, and they also worked to nurture relationships between young mothers, teachers, and guidance counselors. Developing these relationships helped to create a support and accountability team for each young mother. Improving the assistance provided to young mothers can help ensure academic persistence, graduation, and ultimately foster better long-term social, economic, and health outcomes for young mothers and their children.

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