Safe Passage volunteer advocates are the primary reason that we have successfully promoted legislative reforms, increased funding for child protection, and improved policies and practices in child protection and foster care.
How We Work
We train volunteers to advocate for children with their state Representative, state Senator, and County Commissioner. We also provide training in how the child welfare system works overall.
We schedule meetings for volunteers with their elected officials and provide talking points specific to each session. Volunteers are not alone in these sessions. They typically include other volunteers and a staff member or experienced volunteer advocate from Safe Passage.
Volunteer advocates are asked commit to:
- Attend training to prepare for each legislative session.
- Meet with their elected officials once during each legislative session.
- Support our legislative agenda with emails or phone calls at key points in the legislative process.
We also ask volunteers if possible to join us for an annual Day on the Hill, usually held in March.
Training. Volunteers commit to attend training each year prior to the start of the state legislative session, which orients them to our state legislative goals. In some counties we also provide training on county-level initiatives.
It works best if advocates attend trainings in person or participate in a live webcast. This allows for a question-and-answer period and clarifications of the content. If the training schedule doesn’t work for an individual volunteer they can also view a recorded training session. We also meet with volunteers just before their appointments with legislators to review the training. This recording shows the training that advocates received on our legislative agenda for the 2016 state legislative session.
Meetings with Legislators. Training is followed by visits to volunteers’ state Representative and state Senator, where they ask for their support for our current year’s legislative agenda. Volunteers may also be asked to meet with their County Commissioner in counties where we are advocating for practice changes or budget increases.
These meetings are often complicated to schedule and very important to the success of our mission. As a result volunteers are asked to make every effort to keep these appointments.
Support the Legislative Agenda. The last major commitment is for volunteer advocates to contact their elected officials by phone or email when a bill proposed or supported by Safe Passage is going to be heard in a state legislative committee, by the full state House or Senate, or in a county board hearing. Safe Passage provides advocates with a background explanation of the bill and the desired outcome, contact information for their elected officials, and suggested language for the email or phone call. Volunteers are also asked to copy Safe Passage staff on the emails so we can track legislative contacts.
There are additional opportunities for those who want to get involved in more depth. Volunteers have contributed their expertise in areas such as graphic design, research, volunteer coordination, web development, and marketing. If you have a special area of knowledge please let us know and we will find a way to help you use it for kids!
For additional information view the uncut version of “A Lost Generation” and fill out the volunteer interest form at the bottom of this page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information contact Rich Gehrman at