Advocacy Tips and Guidelines
The Child Welfare League of America’s public policy division has proposed several advocacy tips to promote action that will benefit vulnerable children and youth, their families, and their communities.
The following are suggested strategies that you and your organization may want to use on a short- or long-term basis. Choose strategies that you can do and that you believe will send the most effective message. Remember, your voice can make a difference for our children and youth!
Mobilize state and community contacts.
Send (by mail, fax and email) an alert to spread your message far and wide. Urge recipients of the alert to send it to their networks, boards, staff, coalitions, volunteers and media contacts. Briefly and clearly state what action you want.
Get on the agenda for community group meetings and statewide conferences.
Work with other interested individuals and organizations to raise the volume of concern.
Visit your representatives and senators in their district offices. Call your representatives’ and senators’ local offices in your area. Inform the receptionist that you are a constituent and would like to discuss supporting families and protecting children. For Alaska information, visit our legislative resources page or click the “find your elected officials” word bubble.
When your members of Congress or state representatives are in your community, at an event or just back home, introduce yourself and let them know that you are concerned about protecting children and supporting families.
Write to your members of Congress and state representatives – and ask your friends and colleagues to write too. In your letter, tell them about the needs of vulnerable children, youth and families in your community.
Invite your members of Congress or state and local representatives to visit your organization and speak about the issues of concern and their positions. Let them see the children and your programs firsthand.
Work with the media.
Organize press conferences and briefings on protecting children and youth. Highlight new studies of data documenting how your community would be affected by proposed changes. Showcase positive reforms in your state and community and what might happen to them if proposed policies are enacted.
Alert the media of events that would provide good visuals, including meetings with your representatives or senators. Invite media representatives to your programs.
Write op-eds and letters to the editor of your local newspaper. Time your op-eds and letters to correspond with a holiday, a high-visibility issue, or an event that highlights child abuse and neglect.
Meet with the editorial board of your local newspaper. Use this meeting to turn the editors’ attention to protecting children.