Advocacy is the action of speaking on behalf of and representing someone else's interests. Since children do not have a political voice, parents fill a key role in informing local, state, and federal leaders about their children's needs. You can help leaders make informed policy decisions by representing your children's interests.
Expertise in the details of government organization and knowledge of national and state resource allocation procedure are not necessary to be an effective advocate. Since changes begin inside a community, and not in the text of a legislation, all you need to be a successful advocate is concern for your children and community.
If you have encountered problems in getting what you need foryour family, or your children, or yourself, you can do something to help yourself and other parents in similar situations by letting your local and national leaders know about this problem. Through feedback from real people like you, agencies, organizations, and elected leaders become informed about the needs of the people they serve and represent.
It helps to keep in mind that others are probably encountering problems similar to yours. Putting your efforts and voices together will help your concerns reach the desks of your leaders, service providers, and representatives.
To find contact information for your local and national leaders, go to Congress.org. To find a local children's or family advocacy organizations that can help you with local efforts, go to Connect for Kids.
Aside from making local changes, you can also participate in larger-scale reform movements already supported by a network of child advocates, such as CWLA. The participation of people like you in the advocacy efforts of these organizations is crucial to their success in bringing about improvements for children and families throughout America. For more details on these efforts, click on any of the links below:
- Child Welfare League of America Advocacy
Provides information on current children's and family issues being discussed in Congress, and alerts you to opportunities for action.
- Children's Defense Fund
Combines advocacy with direct action, partnering with children's enrichment programs, public figures, and people like you to tackle children's issues from all sides.
- Parents Action (formerly the I Am Your Child Foundation)
Provides parents with information on current children's and family issues, gives resources and information for effective advocacy, and provides guidance and resources on parenting.
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