Eleanor Holmes Norton on Families & Children
Democratic Representative (DC-Delegate)
Member of the Missing & Exploited Children's Caucus.
Norton is a member of the Congressional Missing & Exploited Children's Caucus
Statement Of Purpose
Source: Congressional Caucus Web site 01-CMECC0 on Jan 8, 2001
- To build awareness around the issue of missing and exploited children for the purpose of finding children who are currently missing and to prevent future abductions.
- To create a voice within Congress on the issue of missing and exploited children and introduce legislation that would strengthen law enforcement, community organizing and school-based efforts to address child abduction.
- To identify ways to work effectively in our districts to address child abduction. By developing cooperative efforts that involve police departments, educators, and community groups we can heighten awareness of the issue and pool resources for the purpose of solving outstanding cases and preventing future abductions.
Call for a White House Conference on Children and Youth.
Norton co-sponsored calling for a White House Conference on Children and Youth
The White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 Act - Directs the President to call a White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 to: (1) encourage improvements in each state and local child welfare system; and (2) develop recommendations for actions to implement express policy regarding federal, state, and local programs. The Congress finds the following:
Source: Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 Act (S2771/HR5461) 08-S2771 on Mar 13, 2008
- In 2005 there were over 3,000,000 reports of child abuse and neglect, and only 60% of the children from the substantiated reports received follow-up services and 20% were placed in foster care as a result of an investigation.
- Almost 500,000 children and youth were in foster care at the end of 2004 and nearly 800,000 spent at least some time in foster care throughout the year.
There is an over-representation of certain populations, including Native Americans and African-Americans, in the child welfare system.
- The State courts make key decisions in the lives of children involved in the child welfare system, including decisions of whether children have been victims of child abuse, whether parental rights should be terminated, and whether children should be reunified with their families, adopted, or placed in other settings.
Sex Ed including both abstinence and contraception.
Norton signed H.R.1551&S.611
Authorizes grants to states for sex education programs, including education on abstinence and contraception, to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Expresses the sense of Congress that states are encouraged, although not required, to provide matching funds to receive such grants.
Requires the Secretary to provide for a national evaluation of a representative sample of such programs for effectiveness in delaying the initiation of sexual intercourse and other high-risk behaviors, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, and increasing contraceptive knowledge and behavior. Requires states receiving such grants to provide for an individual evaluation of the state's program by an external, independent entity.
Source: Responsible Education About Life Act 09-HR1551 on Mar 17, 2009
Sponsored supporting No Name-Calling Week in schools.
Norton co-sponsored Resolution on school bullying
Congressional Summary:Expresses support for the goals and ideals of No Name-Calling Week (an annual week of educational activities to bring attention to name-calling and provide schools with tools to eliminate name-calling and bullying).WHEREAS 60 organizations have come together as No Name-Calling Week partner organizations since its inception in 2004;WHEREAS 30% of elementary students reported being bullied or called names at some point while in school;WHEREAS over 80% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGBT) middle and high school students were verbally harassed in the past year because of their sexual orientation;RESOLVED by that Congress encourages the people of the U.S. to observe No Name-Calling Week with appropriate ceremonies, programs, and activities.
Opponent's argument against bill:(Izzy Kalman in Psychology Today, Jan. 26, 2012):
No Name-Calling Week does no good in solving the problem of name-calling, and it can only
make the problem worse by weakening children emotionally. Why are more kids than ever committing suicide because they can't handle being called names? After a week of being bombarded with the message that names can scar them forever, are kids going t
Source: H.CON.RES.10 13-HCR10 on Jan 25, 2013
More funding & services for victims of domestic violence.
Norton co-sponsored Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act
Introduction by co-sponsor Sen. Kay Hagan (D,NC):
We have a serious responsibility to ensure that women and families are protected. The rates of violence and abuse in our country are astounding and totally unacceptable: domestic violence affects more than 12 million people each year. In my home state, 73 women and children are killed on average every year because of domestic violence.
Since 1994, the STOP Program has provided grants for services, training, officers, and prosecutors, and has transformed our criminal justice system and victim support services. And this bill includes the bipartisan SAFER Act, which helps fund audits of untested DNA evidence and reduces this backlog of rape kits. I ask you: What other victims in America have to identify the attacker before authorities will take action? None.Introduction by Sen. Chuck Grassley(R,IA):
Source: S.47/H.R.11 13-HR0011 on Jan 22, 2013
I urge my Republican colleagues, as I will do, to support the motion to proceed.
There has long been bipartisan support for the Violence Against Women Act. Too many women are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence. There is overwhelming bipartisan support for 98% of what is contained in S. 47. [Since our negative vote last session], controversial provisions have been removed. The key stumbling block to enacting a bill at this time is the provision concerning Indian tribal courts. Negotiations are continuing, and compromises would allow the bill to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. Introduction by Sen. Pat Leahy (D,VT):
Our bill will allow services to get to those in the LGBT community who have had trouble accessing services in the past. The rates of domestic and sexual violence in these communities are equal to or greater than those of the general population. We also have key improvements for immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Sponsored recognition of National Foster Care Month.
Norton signed Recognizing National Foster Care Month
RESOLUTION recognizing National Foster Care Month as an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges of children in the foster care system, and encouraging Congress to implement policy to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.
Source: H.Res.577/S.Res.442 14_HRes577 on May 8, 2014
- Whereas there are approximately 400,000 children living in foster care;
- Whereas foster care is intended to be a temporary placement, but children remain in the foster care system for an average of 2 years;
- Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
- encourages Congress to implement policy to minimize the number of children entering the foster care system, to improve the lives of children in the foster care system, and to maximize the number of children exiting foster care to the protection of safe, loving, and permanent families;
- acknowledges the unique needs of children in the foster-care system;
- recognizes foster youth throughout the US for their ongoing tenacity, courage, and resilience while facing life
- acknowledges the exceptional alumni of the foster-care system who serve as advocates and role models for youth who remain in care;
- honors the commitment and dedication of the individuals who work tirelessly to provide assistance and services to children in the foster-care system; and
- reaffirms the need to continue working to improve the outcomes of all children in the foster-care system through parts B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act and other programs designed to
- support vulnerable families;
- invest in prevention and reunification services;
- promote guardianship, adoption, and other permanent placement opportunities in cases where reunification is not in the best interests of the child;
- adequately serve those children brought into the foster-care system; and
- facilitate the successful transition into adulthood for children that 'age-out' of the foster-care system.
Six weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees.
Norton co-sponsored H.R.532
Congressional Summary: Allows federal employees six administrative weeks of paid parental leave in connection with birth.
Supporters reasons for voting YEA: Rep. Maloney (D-NY): Since the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993, individuals and their families have benefited from up to 12 weeks of unpaid job protected leave to care for a new child, sick family member, or a loved one recovering from a serious health condition. This landmark law has been used 200 million times by men and women across the nation. FMLA provides unpaid leave, which means families must choose between foregoing a paycheck and caring for a loved one. Most families today no longer have a stay-at-home parent to care for a new child, and few can afford to go without pay for any length of time. This legislation that provides federal employees with 6 weeks of paid leave following the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child.
Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (Washington Post, Jan. 26, 2015): The Office of Management and Budget has said that creating six weeks of paid parental leave would cost $250 million annually, a cost it said would be covered within agency budgets for salaries and expenses and would fit within discretionary funding caps.
Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (Countable.us: "Argument Opposed"): Not all new parents that work for the federal government need 6 weeks of paid leave. This mandate would be costly and could reduce the productivity of federal organizations and congressional offices.
Source: Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act 15_H532 on Jan 26, 2015
Teach teens about both abstinence & contraception.
Norton signed Responsible Education About Life Act
To provide for the reduction of adolescent pregnancy, HIV rates, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Congress finds as follows:
- Leading public health organizations stress the need for sexuality education that includes messages about abstinence and contraception.
- A 2005 statement [to Congress] urged that 'Sexuality education should be non-judgmental & support parent-child communication & should not impose religious or ideological viewpoints upon students.'
- [A Congressionally-sponsored] 2006 position paper that 'Efforts to promote abstinence should include information about concepts of healthy sexuality, sexual orientation & tolerance, personal responsibility, risks of HIV, access to reproductive health care, and benefits & risks of condoms & other contraceptive methods.'
- 8 in 10 Americans believe that sex education should promote abstinence and provide information about the effectiveness & benefits of contraception.
There is strong evidence that more comprehensive sex education can effectively help young people delay sexual initiation, even as it increases contraceptive use among sexually active youth.
- There is no evidence that federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are effective in stopping or delaying teen sex.
- Most young people have sex for the first time at about age 17, but do not marry until their late 20s. Hence young adults are at risk of unwanted pregnancy & STDs for nearly a decade.
[Congress requires that] Sex Education Programs should:
Source: S.611&HR1551 2009-S611 on Mar 17, 2009
- provide information about the health benefits and side effects of all contraceptive and barrier methods used as a means to prevent pregnancy; and to reduce the risk of contracting STDs, including HIV/AIDS;
- encourage family communication between parent and child about sexuality;
- teach young people how alcohol and drug use can affect responsible decisionmaking; and
- do not teach or promote religion.
Supported funding child care, child health, & child housing.
Norton adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 6. CHILDREN’S ISSUES AND CHILD CARE:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC9 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR206—A bill to provide for greater access to child care services for Federal employees (Morella) [STATUS: enacted as part of the FY2000 Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill]
- HR1112—Kiddie Mac—A bill to authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to insure mortgages for the acquisition, construction, or substantial rehabilitation of child care and development facilities and to establish the Children’s Development Commission to certify such facilities for such insurance, and for other purposes. (Maloney/Baker) STATUS: Hearing held, October 8, 1999
- (bipartisan portions of) HR1139, the ACCESS Act on Child Care Affordability (Tauscher)—A bill to expand the dependent care tax credit, to provide grants to business consortia,
and to establish a new Model State’s Early Learning Fund to support programs to improve early learning and the quality and safety of child care for children ages 0-5. (Tauscher)
- HR2486—Infant Crib Safety Act—A bill to provide for infant crib safety. (Tauscher/Greenwood)
- HR___ (not yet introduced)—Give a Child a Chance Omnibus Mental Health Bill—A bill to place more mental health and student service personnel (school counselors, social workers, or psychologists, and a school nurse) in the schools. The bill also specifies which academic qualifications are necessary for such professionals to be hired. The mental health personnel in the schools would provide assessment for mental health disorders that may be exhibited by a student. For a student that might require more in-depth treatment for serious disorders, the mental health professional would refer those students to an outside professional, with the permission of a parent or guardian. (Jackson-Lee)
Page last updated: Jan 28, 2017