MEMORANDUM FROM THE PRESIDENT: Second Chance Homes for Teen Parents
                                 THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Aboard Air Force One)

Saturday, August 12, 2000

                                 August 11, 2000


SUBJECT:       Second Chance Homes for Teen Parents

My Administration has made it a key priority to promote personal
responsibility, prevent teenage pregnancy, and to provide young people with
the educational and employment opportunities necessary to break the cycle
of dependency.  We know the devastating effects on young people when they
become parents too soon -- nearly 80 percent of single teen mothers end up
on welfare and only one-third receive a high school diploma or GED.  We
also know the impact that this has on their children, who are 40 percent
more likely to have low birth weights; need 20 percent more health care;
and are at greater risk of abuse and neglect.  More-over, girls of teen
mothers are a third more likely to become teen mothers themselves and boys
of teen mothers are nearly 3 times more likely to be incarcerated than boys
of mothers who delayed childbearing.

Under my Administration, I have taken bold steps to promote responsibility
and prevent teen pregnancy by taking executive action to require young
mothers to stay in school or risk losing welfare payments, enacting welfare
reform in 1996, strengthening child support enforcement, and launching a
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.  We know that these efforts
are having an impact: teen birth rates have dropped for the eighth year in
a row, falling by 20 percent since their most recent peak in 1991 to the
lowest levels since we began collecting these data 60 years ago.  But we
also know that there are still far too many children having children, and
we must do more.

To build on this progress and to reach out to teen mothers at risk of a
repeat pregnancy, my FY 2001 budget includes a provision to invest $25
million in the creation and expansion of "second chance homes."  It is
critical that we help teen parents who cannot live with their own parents
or other rela-tives gain access to supportive, adult-supervised living
arrangements -- second chance homes -- that offer parenting skills, job
counseling, education, and other referrals to help reduce the chance of
repeat pregnancies and improve the prospects for young mothers and their
children.  Where appropriate, these
programs should also reach out to involve young fathers in responsible
parenting, and to help reconnect these teens with their own parents.  An
early evaluation of the Second Chance Homes program in Massachusetts has
demon-strated that second chance homes can reduce the number of repeat
pregnancies.  Moreover, this study showed that mothers served by second
chance homes were more likely to become self-sufficient, complete high
school, and to keep their children?s immunizations up to date.  With
approximately 100,000 repeat pregnancies each year, we must do all that we
can to help improve the prospects for teen parents and their children.

Therefore, I direct the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and
Housing and Urban Development to work together to implement the following

     (1)  Within 60 days, issue guidance to nonprofit organizations (both
          faith-based and other community-based organizations) and State
          and local governments to create awareness about the second chance
          home model, highlight States? responsibility to provide access to
          adult-supervised living arrangements for minor parents who cannot
          live at home, provide best practices concerning program design,
          and provide user-friendly information about existing funding
          sources for both facilities and services costs, for the creation
          or expansion of second chance homes;

     (2)  Create a joint technical assistance effort to help communities
          interested in establishing or expanding second chance homes;

     (3)  Use all available legal authority to provide organiza-tions
          interested in establishing second chance homes access to
          foreclosed, underutilized, and surplus real estate or facilities
          at the maximum allowable discount.  The Department of Housing and
          Urban Development should also explore opportuni-ties to increase
          the availability of Supportive Housing Program funds to second
          chance homes for teen parents; and

     (4)  Clarify that teen parents in second chance homes may be eligible
          for low-income housing vouchers and encourage second chance home
          operators to accept housing voucher holders into their programs.

The swift and collaborative implementation of these actions is vital to
achieving our goal of helping teen parents take responsibility for their
lives and their children's futures.

                                         WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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