Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Research & Data Analysis Division

Publication cover for 'First Steps Database: First Steps, Family Planning, and The Changing Economy'

Mar 03 | 9.66 | Online Library

First Steps Database: First Steps, Family Planning, and The Changing Economy

This study discusses factors related to the state's First Steps program, family planning efforts, economic indicators, all of which led to reductions in infant mortality, low birth weight babies, and an improvement in access to prenatal care in the 1990s and early 2000s. Findings suggest that impacting community values and personal/individual behavior regarding use of effective birth control measures is a complex undertaking. Success requires many strategies. Despite efforts to decrease the numbers of unintended pregnancies, dramatic changes in Washington's economic climate created a radically different environment for assessing the impact of program effectiveness. Authors find that Washington's family planning efforts are well positioned. Given the economic changes that have occurred over the past three years, it is likely that the pregnancy caseload growth would have been even greater, had certain family planning efforts not been in place.