At Work on Issues

Addressing the Needs of Children and Youth

While parents have the primary responsibility for raising their children, we all have a role in helping our nation' s young people to achieve their full potential. Mrs. Clinton has used her voice as First Lady to remind Americans of our responsibility for helping all our children, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

As the Administration' s most prominent advocate on foster care and adoption, Mrs. Clinton has worked on behalf of the over 500,000 children who live in foster care because of abuse or neglect. She has promoted the adoption of children living in foster care and worked for passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, landmark legislation which reformed our nation' s child welfare system by putting considerations of children' s health and safety first.

Mrs. Clinton has also taken a special interest in educating Americans about the importance of children' s earliest experiences to their future development. In 1997, she hosted the White House Conference on Early Childhood Development and Learning: What New Research on the Brain Tells Us About Our Youngest Children. She has worked for Head Start expansion and quality improvements and successfully advocated for increased funding for programs serving young children. In 1997, the First Lady launched the Prescription for Reading Partnership in which pediatricians and other health professionals “prescribe” reading to new parents as an activity that will enhance children' s development.

Mrs. Clinton has also directed her attention to our nation' s youth, encouraging the development of positive opportunities for young people and ways to help them avoid substance abuse, teen pregnancy and delinquency. She helped to launch the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and hosted the 1998 White House Conference on School Safety: Causes and Prevention of Youth Violence and participated in the recent White House Strategy Meeting on Children, Violence and Responsibility. The First Lady was also instrumental in the development of the AmeriCorps National Service Program through which young people may perform a year of full-time service in exchange for scholarships or student loan forgiveness.


Below is more detailed information on specific children and youth issues:

Early Childhood Development

  • Address to the National Association of American Publishers on the Importance of Reading to Children (3/18/99)
  • Remarks at New York Reach Out and Read Announcement (12/1/98)
  • Remarks at the White House Conference on Early Childhood Development (4/17/97)
  • Remarks at the Georgetown Medical Center's Child Development Event (1/10/97)

    For more information on this topic, please visit the Head Start Bureau at the Department of Health and Human Servics and the National Institute on Early Childhood Development and Education at the Department of Education.

  • Foster Care and Adoption

  • Remarks at the White House Foster Care Transitioning Event (1/29/99)
  • Remarks at the White House National Adoption Month Event (11/24/98)
  • Remarks at Destination Future 98 (9/11/98)
  • Remarks by the President and First Lady at Adoption Bill Signing (11/19/97)
  • Column on National Adoption Day (11/25/98)

    For more information on this topic, please visit the Children's Bureau at the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Youth

  • Remarks from Good Morning America's Special on School Violence (6/4/99)
  • Column on Youth and Violence in the Media (6/2/99)
  • Remarks on Children, Violence and Marketing (6/1/99)
  • Column on Youth, Violence and Guns (5/12/99)
  • Remarks after the White House Strategy Session on Children, Violence and Responsibility (5/10/99)
  • Column on Guns, Youth and Violence (4/28/99)
  • Remarks by the First Lady on Gun Control Legislation (4/27/99)
  • Remarks by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at Albert Shanker Award for Distinguished Service New York State United Teachers (4/22/99)
  • Column on Girls and Sports (3/10/99)
  • Remarks on Women and Sports, New York City Lab School (3/4/99)
  • Remarks at the People Magazine/Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Luncheon (12/1/98)
  • Column on Juvenile Crime (10/7/98)
  • Remarks at the White House Conference on School Safety (10/15/98)
  • Remarks to the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse Awards (10/6/98)
  • Remarks at the Annual National Conference of La Raza (7/20/98)
  • Column on Children and Violence (4/8/98)
  • Remarks to Arlington, Virginia PTA (3/8/96)
  • Remarks at the National Conference on Youth Violence (8/15/94)

    For more information on this topic, please visit the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquent Prevention at the Justice Department and the Family and Youth Services Bureau at the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • National Service

  • Column on National Service (3/17/98)
  • University of Michigan Commencement Address (5/1/93)

    For more information on this topic, please visit the Corporation for National Service.



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