The Honorable Christopher K. Peace, Virginia House of Delegates
It is my pleasure as Chair of the General Assembly’s Commission on Youth to welcome you to our website. The Commission on Youth is tasked with providing a forum for review and study of youth policies and services. Whether you are a member or staff of the General Assembly, a government official, service provider, educator, parent or caregiver, or interested member of the public, you will find this website a wonderful resource on the Commission’s work on a host of issues, from child welfare to juvenile justice, or from mental health to education.

Children matter to policymakers in Virginia. Almost 2 million young people age 0-18 live in our state. This number represents almost 25% of our state’s population. Correspondingly, a significant percentage of our state budget goes directly to services for these youth and their families. Given the size of this population and the breadth of special needs associated with young people and their families, Virginia is fortunate to have the Commission on Youth to provide guidance and leadership on youth policy issues. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with our work and to let us know whenever we can be of assistance to your child, family or community.


The Virginia Commission on Youth will be accepting public comment on the 2014 Draft Findings and Recommendations for:

  • Study -- Unlawful Adoption

For the Draft Recommendations, please click here or click on the meetings tab and view the handouts from the October 20 meeting.  

Public comment must be received by 5:00 p.m. Friday, November 7, 2014.  Public comments received by the deadline will be provided to the Commission for consideration at the October 20 Commission meeting at 1:00 p.m. in House Room C of the General Assembly Building.  

Comments may be submitted by:

The Commission on Youth
General Assembly Building, Suite 269
Richmond, VA 23219. 

The Commission on Youth will be meeting September 16 (10:00 a.m.), October 20 (1:00 p.m.), November 17 (10:00 a.m.), and December 2 (1:00 p.m.) in House Room C at the General Assembly Building.  

On June 17, the Commission hosted a meeting on Early Early Childhood Education -- Workgroup on Quality.  Click here to view the meeting notes.  Additional meeting handouts are posted on the Meetings page.

Read Delegate Peace's and Dr. Treadway's Op Ed: Focus on Young Children.

The Commission on Youth welcomes to its membership the Honorable Richard P. Bell, the Honorable Ben Chafin, and the Honorable Mark L. Keam from the House of Delegates; the Honorable Dave W. Marsden from the Senate; and Ms. Deirdre S. Goldsmith from Abingdon, Virginia. 

Press Release on Commission on Youth Legislation for the 2014 General Assembly Session.

The 5th Edition of the Collection of Evidence-based Practices for Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Treatment Needs is now available on-line.  

First published in 2003 and - by mandate - updated biennially, the newly-released document is now  available in its entirety on the Legislative Information System as HOUSE DOCUMENT 7 (2013).  In addition, readers can access individual sections of the Collection through the "On Our Website" menu to the left.  Here, under the Collection's Table of Contents are links to all sections and, within each section, there are web links to citations and resources.  

Web readers are able to use the SEARCH feature to locate all documents related to a particular mental health disorder on the Commission's website.

Organizations needing copies in quantity may contact the Commission at The Commission welcomes feedback and suggestions at any time.

The Collection summarizes current research on mental health treatments shown to be effective for youth.  It is designed, by mandate, for widespread dissemination as a readily-available web document. Compiled with the assistance of Virginia mental health and other professionals who work with youth, it serves a broad readership: educators, service providers, parents, caregivers and others seeking information on mental health treatments for youth. 

The Advisory Group for the Collection met on Tuesday, June 18 at 10:00 a.m. in the General Assembly Building, Richmond to begin discussion of the 6th Edition.


Commission on Youth Chair Christopher Peace discussed "Quality Schools Start with Good Teachers, Leaders" in the Sunday, December 9, 2012 Richmond Times Dispatch COMMENTARY section.  This op-ed piece expounded on findings from the Commission's two-year study Comparison of Academic Achievement in Virginia with Leading Industrialized Countries.  Further information on this study, which concluded in December 2012, is available on this website under MEETINGS, STUDIES, and REPORTS. The final study report will be published in spring 2013.

On January 4, 2013, in an interview aired on Blue Ridge PBS-TV News, Delegate Peace and the Commission's Executive Director Amy Atkinson talked with journalist David Bailey about the Commission's mandate and 2012 legislative studies.  "This Week in Richmond" is an on-going series of interviews and informational programming from the Virginia Capitol.