Advocacy can be big or small and is designed to change attitudes, policies, practices, and laws about issues that matter to you. Advocates can work alone or band together with others in their community. When you pool the talents, knowledge, and skills of your community or group, you can help determine how public policy outcomes affect the lives of foster and adoptive families. You can influence the distribution of resources, and you may even help transform attitudes and beliefs about foster care and adoption.
Become an Advocate
You can advocate by (among other things):
- Calling or writing your state/provincial or federal policymakers
- Sharing your story with the media
- Informing social services administrators
- Talking to the public about issues that matter to you
To get started, explore our website, including:
You can also check out the Youth Advocacy section of our site for information specific to youth advocates.
Five Things You Can Do Now
As an advocate it’s important to remember that even small steps can make a huge difference in helping children have permanent, loving families. Below are five things you can do as an individual to make a difference for children:
- Encourage your local newspaper or television station to do a story on a child who was adopted at an older age.
- Share information with your legislators about waiting children and the reasons their adoptive families need support (read Talking Points on page 11 in Post-Adoption Advocacy Toolkit); click here to find your local policymakers.
- Contact a local adoption organization (NACAC can refer you or you can search our database of local adoptive parent support groups) and ask if you can volunteer in any advocacy or family support activities.
- Talk to your friends and community members about the fact that there are children who have no family to celebrate their birthdays with, no permanent parents to love and care for them, and no connections with family for when they turn 18 and leave foster care (read Talking Points on page 11 in Post-Adoption Advocacy Toolkit above). Encourage them to take action too!
- Sign up for policy alerts from NACAC and other adoption organizations and monitor adoption-related legislation. Contact your legislators to encourage them to support any law that you believe will help children find—and remain in—a loving family of their own.
Want more information on any topic or on adoption advocacy strategies? Email us at email@example.com!