Legislation, advocacy, and the rights of children and youth

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The forces that have markedly slowed progress in mental health services for children and youth in the US are listed. Recent years have seen an increase in the use of psychological information by all branches of the US Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial). Nevertheless, marked ambivalence has been shown in the struggle to define and develop the rights of children and youth. These center around developmental issues related to the protection of the helpless and around the struggle with the rights of parents. The need to develop an organized, effective system of different types of advocacy based on sound child-development knowledge is stressed. Hopefully, this will lead to child and youth impact studies of all relevant legislation and eventually to a comprehensive national child, youth, and family policy. (6 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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