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- What was the cost to the local health departments of delivering the adapted version of Reducing the Risk as part of a health class for high school students?
- What resources did the local health departments require to provide the program?
- How did the cost compare to other federally funded teen pregnancy prevention programs?
When policymakers and practitioners are considering a new program, cost is typically one of their key concerns. This brief provides information on the cost of implementing a teen pregnancy prevention program in school as part of a health class for high school students. The information comes from an evaluation of an adapted version of the Reducing the Risk teen pregnancy prevention curriculum in rural Kentucky. Mathematica Policy Research conducted the evaluation for the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For the evaluation, Mathematica worked with two local health departments in Kentucky that used federal grant funding from the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) to have trained staff to deliver the adapted curriculum.
This brief summarizes key cost findings from the evaluation of the adapted version of Reducing the Risk in Kentucky. It presents information on the resources required to deliver the program for one academic year and the average cost per student. The brief also summarizes how the average cost per student compares to other federally funded teen pregnancy prevention programs.
Key Findings and Highlights
- The average cost per student was $113, an amount at the lower end of the range for federally funded teen pregnancy prevention programs.
- Personnel costs account for the largest share (about three-quarters) of the total annual cost to the local health departments.
- If the local health departments had needed to pay for the school classrooms and teachers, the program would have cost $150 per student.
Program costs were estimated using the resource cost method, which involves identifying all of the resources required to deliver a program and assigning dollar values to each resource identified. The cost estimates rely on data on the resources the two local health departments used to deliver the adapted version of Reducing the Risk during the 2013–2014 academic year. The local health departments had a history of implementing Reducing the Risk in local school districts, so the cost estimates reflect a period of relatively steady state operations and do not include initial trainings or start-up costs.
Three earlier reports presented detailed evidence on the impacts and implementation of the adapted version of Reducing the Risk in Kentucky:
Schulte, Theresa, and Brian Goesling (2019). The Cost of Implementing a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in High School Health Classes, OPRE Report # 2019-33, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Personal Responsibility Education Program