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Six organizations representing state officials last week joined with the American Public Welfare Association to form a national consortium on problems related to teen-age pregnancy.

Described as the first initiative of its kind, the new Center for State Action on Adolescent Pregnancy will provide states with information and referral services, as well as direct technical assistance in setting up programs to deal with the issue. It is expected to begin full operations next fall.

"We believe the state center marks a turning point in our ability to grapple with this complex issue," said Linda A. Wolf, associate director of the Washington-based apwa and chairman of the consortium.

Other organizations joining the consortium are the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Interstate Conference of Employment Security Agencies, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Governors' Association.

A planning grant for the effort was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Florida public-health officials say they may abandon a plan to create the first group home for teen-agers carrying the aids virus after encountering strong opposition from residents of two communities considered as sites for the home.

State officials proposed establishing such a home in Beach Haven last summer after coming under sharp criticism from civil libertarians for briefly placing a sexually active 14-year-old with aids-related complex in a mental institution. When Beach Haven residents objected to the plan, the town of Beulah was chosen as the site last month, but opposition from that community has also been strong.

A spokesman for the state department of health and rehabilitative services said last week that public-health officials were considering alternatives to the group-home concept, including the creation of special foster homes, for adolescents who carry the aids virus and are sexually promiscuous.

Vol. 07, Issue 10

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