Issues in TANF Reauthorization: Building Stronger Families

I am pleased to have the opportunity to testify today on proposals to reauthorize the 1996 welfare reform law. As President of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy I especially want to address the family formation goals of the legislation. The National Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, chaired by former Governor Tom Kean. We are fortunate to have a Congressional Advisory Panel that includes several members of this Committee (Senators Breaux, Conrad, Jeffords, Kyl, and Snowe). The mission of the National Campaign is to improve the well being of children, youth, and families by reducing teen pregnancy by one-third over a decade. I also serve as a Co-Director of the Brookings Institution’s Welfare Reform and Beyond Initiative. I should emphasize, however, that my testimony today reflects my own views and not the views of any organization with which I am affiliated.

Over the past six years, the National Campaign has been working on a variety of fronts to reduce teen pregnancy in the United States. We work with states and communities, with the entertainment media, with faith based organizations, with schools and other youth-serving and parent organizations. We reach out to these entities in a wide variety of ways such as offering technical assistance to community coalitions, commissioning and publishing research, sponsoring conferences, designing and launching national media campaigns, and training and working with youth leaders from around the country.

(The complete testimony is available using the View Full Testimony link above.)