Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Parenting and the President - Part 8 - The Bush Years and a White House Briefing

The long sought after White House Briefing took place on December 12, 2006 at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in Washington, D.C. It was attended by an invited audience of executives from that major White House Office and from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Included was the executive who facilitated the briefing, the Associate Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families in HHS, Harry Wilson (shown on the far left in the accompanying picture).

I delivered the presentation on the proposed Initiative. Also participating from the National Effective Parenting Initiative (NEPI) was Dr. Karol Kumpfer of the University of Utah and the former director of the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and one of my daughters who was then doing an internship in Washington at NOW (I am on the left of Harry Wilson, then my daughter and then Dr. Kumpfer).

However, the representative from the President's Domestic Policy Council, who was the person who was to convey the substance of the briefing to the president, called to cancel at the last moment. Shortly after the meeting, Mr. Wilson was informed that that person had taken another job in a federal agency and was no longer involved with the Domestic Policy Council.

Mr. Wilson then decided that it would be better to form an Interagency Task Force on Effective Parenting and conduct an audit of the federal agencies who were running various programs and initiatives for parents. It was his wisdom that a report from such a internal and cross agency Task Force based on a full government audit would be the best way to involve the president. So he put in motion the creation of such a Task Force and he began exploring the audit.

Initial meetings of several agency directors from within his own department were conducted and there was much initial interest. An initial audit was also attempted.

Then there were problems continuing to convene the Task Force and deciding on who would be the Task Force leader. The initial audit actions led to finding out that a comprehensive audit of the numerous federal agencies in numerous cabinet level government departments was beyond the resources of this Task Force. And key administrative officials announced they were leaving the administration soon.

The practical result of all these internal developments was that the Initiative was, to our knowledge, never presented to the president. The effort stopped when the campaigning for the next presidential election started.

Once President Obama was elected, NEPI regrouped and developed the four-part National Effective Parenting Plan that is currently being advocated with the Obama administration (see Parenting and the President - Part 1 - August 18, 2009). The fourth part of the Plan is the Effective Parenting Initiative that was proposed at the White House Briefing.

Details of the various components of that Initiative will be the subject of subsequent articles in this series.


How You Can Be Involved...

You can participate by commenting on this and future articles in The Parenting and the President series.

You can become supportive through letting the world know that it would be a better place if all children were raised by effective and sensitive parents who receive excellent parenting education. You can express such sentiments through signing our online Effective Parenting Petition (check here).

And /or you can become a member and supporter of the NEPI, the National Effective Parenting Initiative.

There are three types of memberships available, each of which has its own series of educational benefits and involvement opportunities. Click on the membership type you are most interested in learning about:

Your membership dues are not only used to provide the member benefits but to also support the various advocacy actions that are needed to bring these important matters to the attention of the president and the public in general. This entire effort is of a grassroots nature and membership dues, and funds that have been contributed to CICC over the years, are the only monies that are supporting it now.

For those of you who want to make a financial contribution but do not want to become members of NEPI, you can support this grassroots effort by making a tax-deductible contribution to CICC.

Click here to donate.

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