Child Welfare League of America Making Children a National Priority


Child Welfare League of America Making Children a National Priority
About Us
Special Initiatives
News and Media Center
Research and Data
Conferences and Training
Culture and Diversity
Support CWLA
CWLA Members Only Content

Home > Advocacy > CWLA 2006 Children's Legislative Agenda > Federal Youth Coordination Act


CWLA 2006 Children's Legislative Agenda

Federal Youth Coordination Act

© Child Welfare League of America. The content of these publications may not be reproduced in any way, including posting on the Internet, without the permission of CWLA. For permission to use material from CWLA's website or publications, contact us using our website assistance form.


  • Pass the Federal Youth Coordination Act.


The Federal Youth Coordination Act (H.R. 856) passed the House in 2005. Representatives Tom Osborne (R-NE), Harold Ford (D-TN), Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), and Donald Payne (D-NJ) introduced this bipartisan legislation. The full Senate has not yet considered the Senate bill (S. 409). Norm Coleman (R-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Mike DeWine (R-OH) are leading Senate efforts.

The legislation would establish a national federal policy to promote positive youth development. Existing federal initiatives for young people primarily focus on behavior modification, such as drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, and delinquency, or are education-based.
The legislation responds to recommendations from the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth. The task force convened in 2003 and was directed by President Bush to assess federal youth policy and develop recommendations that strengthen the federal response to the needs of children and youth, with a focus on coordination and accountability. The bipartisan task force looked at incorporating positive youth development practices that help disadvantaged youth while improving the effectiveness of federal programs aimed at youth. 1
The Federal Youth Coordination Act responds to the task force's recommendations by
  • creating a federal body to facilitate interagency coordination and collaboration, coordinate federal research, and identify and replicate model programs; and

  • supporting state-level coordination efforts.
The Federal Youth Coordination Act would also establish a Federal Youth Development Council. Key features and responsibilities include:

  • Sixteen federal agency secretaries coming together to unite services for youth.

  • Representatives from youth-serving nonprofits and faith-based organizations.

  • Youth representatives from across the country.
The Federal Youth Development Council will:
  • Facilitate communication among federal agencies serving youth.

  • Assess youth needs and the quantity and quality of federal supports that help to meet these needs.

  • Set quantifiable goals and objectives for federal youth programs and establish a plan to reach these goals.

  • Develop demonstration projects that focus on special populations of youth.

  • Identify and replicate model programs.

  • Provide an annual report to the President and Congress, including
    • an assessment of the needs and well-being of youth;

    • recommendations for stronger integration and coordination of federal, state, and local policies affecting youth; and

    • a report on the Council's work to facilitate interagency collaboration and the results of the collaboration.
Support to States
  • Provide technical assistance and, subject to the availability of appropriations, make grants to states to support state-level coordination efforts.

  • States that have already initiated interagency coordination will receive priority.

Key Facts

  • Approximately 14.3 million children, kindergarten through 12th grade, take care of themselves after school, including nearly 4 million middle school students, grades six through eight. 2

  • Many young people are not supervised during afterschool hours, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A recent study showed nearly 36% of children report spending time home alone after school at least once a week. 3

  • In 2002, 15% of America's youth were disconnected from school and not working. 4

  • Students who reported spending no time in school-sponsored afterschool activities were 57% more likely to drop out before 12th grade than students who spent one to four hours in such activities. 5

  • The hours of 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on school days are the peak hours for teens to commit crimes, smoke, drink, use drugs, or engage in sexual activity. 6
Participation in afterschool programs is associated with better school performance, finer work habits, better interpersonal skills, and less time engaged in unhealthy behaviors. 7


  1. White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth. (2003). Final report. Available online at Washington, DC: Author. back

  2. Duffett, A., & Johnson, J. (2004). All work and no play? Listening to what kids and parents want from out-of-school time. New York: Public Agenda. back

  3. Kids Count. (2005). Kids count data book. Baltimore: Annie E. Casey Foundation. back

  4. Eccles, J., & Gootman, J. (Eds.). (2002). Community programs to promote youth development (a report of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education). Available online at Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. back

  5. Ibid. back

  6. Snyder, H.N., & Sickmund, M. (1999). Juvenile offenders and victims: 1999 national report. Available online at Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. back

  7. McLaughlin, M.W. (2000). Community counts: How youth organizations matter for youth development. Available online at Washington, DC: Public Education Network. back

CWLA Contact

Tim Briceland-Betts

 Back to Top   Printer-friendly Page Printer-friendly Page   Contact Us Contact Us




About Us | Special Initiatives | Advocacy | Membership | News & Media Center | Practice Areas | Support CWLA
Research/Data | Publications | Webstore | Conferences/Training | Culture/Diversity | Consultation/Training

All Content and Images Copyright Child Welfare League of America. All Rights Reserved.
See also Legal Information, Privacy Policy, Browser Compatibility Statement

CWLA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and access for all individuals.
No employee, applicant for employment, or member of the public shall be discriminated against
on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or
any other personal characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.