A White House Conference on Children & Youth Has Liftoff
Specifically because of CWLA's efforts and leadership, legislation to reinstate a White House Conference on Children and Youth was introduced earlier this year and is off to a strong start. Both the House and the Senate bills have strong bipartisan support that we must continue to build upon in order to pass the legislation.
A White House Conference on Children and Youth would re-establish this conference that took place every ten years from 1909 to 1970. This one would take place in 2010. This conference would function like past children's conferences and aging conferences: funding would be provided to establish a series of events and small conferences through the 50 states. This would take place in the year before the national conference. Delegates would be sent to the White House event representing all states including the tribes, territories, and Washington, DC. Authorizing legislation would outline the focus and goals of the conference and it would be specific to child welfare, including the range of issues from prevention and intervention to permanency, including reunification, kinship care, and adoption. Indirectly this is a conference that will affect all communities and touch on such issues as access to health care, mental health and substance abuse services, housing, and support services such as child care.
Legislation would require this White House Conference to be held sometime in 2010, allowing for a two-year process for state and local gatherings and input. It also offers an opportunity for communities, states, and cities to come together in a dialogue about how to make real change in the lives of vulnerable children and families. …