External Communications

Elected Officials and Policy Makers

Elected officials and public policy makers play a critical role in the public child welfare system. 

They hold power over the agency and create policies that affect children and families for years. 

While agencies work with the best of intentions to reduce the number of children in foster care and 

improve their outcomes while in care, the effects of out-dated public policies, under-funded 

systems and over-worked employees can undermine best efforts. Effective work cannot be done without 

the support of political leadership.

 

Depending on how a particular system is administered, policies might be enacted at either a local, 

state or federal level. It is important to keep lines of communication open between the agency and 

elected officials and lawmakers at all levels. These conversations, when conducted with clear 

intentions and clear language, are likely to lead to good relationships and effective policies for 

children and youth in foster care. Public child welfare agencies can and should work alongside 

policymakers to guide policies through practice by communicating their needs effectively.

 

Communications can assist with educating and enhancing communications with elected officials and 

policymakers by:

  • Establishing  personal contact
  • Educating elected officials about programs and populations through briefings
  • Including the staff of elected officials on newsletters and email distribution lists or listserves 
  • Sharing talking points and messaging with political allies
  • Assisting with constituent concerns regarding public child welfare

 






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