CHILD ADVOCACY

Simple Steps to Effect Change in the lives of Children and Families
Advocacy is:
  • Active support for a cause or position
  • A verb-Requires action of some type
  • Forming partnerships in support of a position or cause
  • Forming partnerships with legislators and state administrations
  • Informing elected officials and the community about a cause or position
  • Empowering
  • Another way to show you care about children and families
Advocacy is Not:
  • Lobbying: a communication to legislators intended to influence specific legislation (pending or proposed) Source: Foraker Group
  • Intended to alienate parties
  • Intended to show disrespect for the opinions or views different from our own
  • Intended to endorse or oppose a candidate
Lobbying:

Lobbying: a communication to legislators intended to influence specific legislation (pending or proposed) Source: Foraker Group
Programs RESTRICTED from lobbying include:

  • Most non-profits
  • All Federal and State Granted Programs
  • Head Start and Early Head Start programs
  • State Employees during work hours
  • Federal Employees during work hours
  • Any program which restricts lobbying activities in their personnel policies
What can I do if I fit in the restricted category?

You can STILL advocate – just follow these simple rules:

  • Be sure you are not conducting advocacy activities when you are working or on-call.
  • Be sure you are not using any means of work communicationtechnology such as computers, e-mail, phones or stationery.
  • Do not represent your views as your program or work.
Who should Advocate:
  • Parents/Family Members
  • Friends / Community Members
  • Children: teach the importance of advocacy young
  • Staff Members / Board of Directors
  • Policy Councils / Elder & Tribal Groups

A Successful Advocate is:

Respectful
  • Communicate your message in a respectful manner. Raised voices and rude words or tone alienate people.
  • Mannerisms: Be on time for meetings, refrain from interrupting, keep on point of the message, and follow up with a thank you statement or note.
  • Be brief: Most decision makers have very limited time to understand your position or concern and appreciate getting right to the point.
Influential:
  • The power to affect other people’s thinking by means of position or action.
  • Getting other people to participate.
  • Ensure your communication and actions further your influence.
  • Always be truthful.