Advocating for Youth Webinar

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Join your colleagues from around the country to discuss strategies and tips for advocating for youth. What qualities must an advocate possess? How can you be most effective in speaking up for youth you serve? This webinar will include information that has been found to be beneficial for court appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers nationwide as well as giving Safe Place staff the opportunity to share what has worked well for them.

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Advocating for Youth Webinar

  1. 1. National CASA Association ADVOCATING FOR YOUTH
  2. 2. Mission Together with its state and local members, National CASA supports and promotes court- appointed volunteer advocacy so that every abused or neglected child can be safe, establish permanence and have the opportunity to thrive.
  3. 3. CASA Network  46 State Offices and 904 local programs  49 States, District of Columbia and U.S. Virgin Islands  71,000 Volunteers in 2009  Serving 237,095 abused and neglected children
  4. 4. How CASA Works Role of CASA/GAL CASA Program volunteers  Recruit and screen  Fact finder volunteers  Provide high quality  Facilitator training and supervision  Monitor  Support volunteers in their efforts on behalf of children  Advocate
  5. 5. Questions to Frame Our Discussion  In what forums do you typically advocate for youth?  What are some of the most common issues for which you are advocating?  What are some of the most common challenges in advocating for youth?
  6. 6. Basic Elements of Advocacy  Problem situation  Clear analysis of the position  Proposal  Strategies and tactics  Process
  7. 7. Qualities of an Effective Advocate  Professionalism  Interpersonal competence  Cultural competence  Persistent and tenacious  Good listener  Knowledgeable about youth, their situation, needs and resources  Flexible  Willing to speak up
  8. 8. Issues of Older Youth in Out of Home Care or Homeless  Educational Disadvantages  Homelessness  Incarceration  Mental Health Issues
  9. 9. Working with Older Youth  Develop trust and rapport  Overcome resistance  Involve the youth  Allow youth to partner with and guide  Provide wise counsel  Self-directed advocacy  Model critical thinking
  10. 10. Key Questions  Education  Employment  Housing/Living arrangements  Life Skills  Supportive relationships/community resources  Physical/behavioral health
  11. 11. Avenues for Communication  Face to face  Telephone  Texting  Email  Social networking
  12. 12. Special Considerations  Youth of color  LGBTQ youth  Youth with disabilities or chronic illness
  13. 13. Youth of Color  Ensure safety  Know yourself – be aware of bias  Participate in cultural competency training  Help achieve a positive ethnic and cultural identity  Don’t shy away from courageous conversations  Use community as a cultural resource
  14. 14. LGBTQ Youth  Ensure safety  Be aware of your own bias  Educate yourself about the issues  Respect confidentiality  Know community resources  Familiarize yourself with pertinent laws
  15. 15. Youth with Disabilities or Chronic Illness  Ensure safety  Become familiar with diagnosis  Watch for physical and behavioral changes  Familiarize yourself on community resources  Know the pertinent laws (e.g. IDEA)  Know caregiver responsibilities
  16. 16. Words from the Wise  Use positive reinforcement  Appreciate achievements  Advocate as you would for your own  Expect the best from the youth  Give them the best you have
  17. 17. Wrap-Up  Questions?  For more information contact: Sally Wilson Erny, NCASA , Chief Program Officer sallye@nationalcasa.org 800-628-3233, ext. 245
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