42 U.S. Code § 12371 - Findings

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(a) FindingsThe Congress finds that—
children and youth are inherently our most valuable resource and their welfare, protection, healthy development, and positive role in society are essential to the Nation;
children and youth deserve love, respect, and guidance, as well as good health, shelter, food, education, productive work, and preparation for responsible participation in community life;
an increasing opportunity for children and youth to participate in the decisions that affect their lives is essential;
the family is the primary caregiver and the source of social learning which must be supported and strengthened, but when families are unable to ensure the satisfaction of the needs of children and youth, it is society’s responsibility to assist them;
(5) at a minimum, all children and youth need and deserve access to—
the best possible physical and mental health;
adequate and safe physical shelter;
the highest quality of educational opportunity;
effective training, apprenticeships, opportunities for community service, and productive employment;
the widest range of civic, cultural, and recreational activities which recognize young Americans as resources and promote self-esteem and a stake in their communities;
comprehensive community services which are efficient, coordinated, and readily available; and
genuine participation in decisions concerning the planning and managing of their lives; and
there is a great need for a comprehensive national policy with respect to young individuals, designed to engage Federal, State, and local government agencies, youth organizations, and other voluntary organizations.
(b) Statement of policy

It is the policy of the Congress that the Federal Government should work jointly with the States and their citizens to develop recommendations and plans for action to meet the challenge and needs of young individuals.

Effective Date

Section effective Oct. 1, 1990, see section 1001(a) of Pub. L. 101–501, set out as an Effective Date of 1990 Amendment note under section 8621 of this title.