Parent Advocacy 101
Advocacy is…helping parents help themselves, building confidence so that parents are able to work on their children’s behalf, providing necessary tools for appropriate decisions and appropriate actions, informing parents of their rights, assisting in locating appropriate services, lobbying for appropriate legislation, bringing parents and groups together for mutual support and action, and partnering with parents-with mutual sharing of information, tasks, and action.
Advocacy is not…taking over parents’ lives and making all the decisions for them, reinforcing feelings of helplessness and dependency, keeping parents uninformed about their rights, making them rely on the advocate for everything, discouraging parents from becoming activists, persuading them to accept “make do” services, closing the door to parents because “there is nothing I can do to help” and interceding on behalf of parents who can help themselves.
Get involved. Get support from other parents. Know the laws and your rights.
Join the Action Alert Team! The Federation of Families of South Carolina will keep you up to date on current issues and provide direction on who to contact to effect policy change. Emails are sent on state and national issues related to children’s mental health. Topics may include IDEA re-authorization, Medicaid funding, children’s services, and respite care. If you are interested in joining the Action Alert Team email firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject area please type “add me to the Action Alert Team email list”.