This paper presents two issue papers that formed the basis of the author's invited briefing to the 1992 Bush-Quayle campaign staff. In the first paper, the author outlines two factors, marital disruption and single childbearing, that have contributed to the high numbers of children living in poverty in the United States. He points out that promoting healthier childhoods makes economic sense, and that prenatal care is among the most cost-effective investments in health open to the nation. The second paper outlines the public policy implications of the changes in the composition of the family. Family composition has become increasingly diverse, and as a consequence, the family structures through which much social legislation operates will become increasingly varied and complex in the future. A forward-looking approach will recognize what families alone do best--care for their own members. Families have the will; it will be government's role to help them find the way.