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Legislative Advocacy Toolkit

Here's how you can get involved in legislative advocacy during the 87th Legislative Session. Follow these steps to make a big impact on child welfare-related policy in Texas.

1. Know The Latest

Sign up to receive the latest updates and new report releases from TexProtects by joining our newsletter.

TexProtects is invested in providing resources that explain how prevention systems can reduce the risk of childhood abuse and neglect. Click the links below to read additional reports created by TexProtects.

  • Early Childhood Matters This report applies newly acquired research about Texas policymakers' understanding of ECBD to inform and develop targeted messaging strategies and policy recommendations. *Project HOPES This one-pager is a brief explanation of Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support (HOPES) and areas currently available in Texas.
  • Child Maltreatment Prevention Evidence-based home visiting has proven to be cost-effective in fostering secure, healthy children prepared for learning, productivity, and success.
  • The Story of Early Childhood The science is clear. Early childhood matters and investments in the early years pay dividends far above interventions later in life. However, state policy and investments haven't caught up to the science.
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences A look at prevention strategies that can reduce the prevalence and impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and increase a child's opportunity for cognitive and emotional development, health, productivity, and economic wellbeing.
  • Increased Risk of Abuse and Neglect during COVID-19 Our Child Abuse and Neglect Risks During COVID-19 Report, we look at how economic recessions, unemployment, family violence, mental health, substance abuse, and parental stress have been correlated to increases in child abuse and neglect.
  • Home Visiting Landscape in Texas 2020 (coming soon)

2. Write To Your Legislators

Letters never go out of style, and a handwritten or emailed note to your policymaker is a great way to communicate what you think is important for them to know about child welfare. Your personal story and even pictures will be the most powerful items to have. And don't forget to point out that you are their constituent!

3. Share On Social Media

One of the quickest ways to get policymakers' attention is to reach out to them via social media. Twitter and Facebook are two of the most used platforms, especially during the legislative session. You can look up your legislators' social media handles on Google, and be sure to tag your decision-makers. Posts with images tend to create a higher engagement rate, so don't forget to use graphics to illustrate your point. Follow TexProtects on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to use our graphics!

Hashtags are labels that social media platforms use to find all things related to that content and reach a targetted audience. Use #TxLege and #TxLege2021 in all your posts to find and filter all things Texas Legislature. Other good subject-specific hashtags to use include #TxChildWelfare #HomeVisitingIsEssential #HomeVisiting #ProtectTxKids

4. Call Your Representative

A quick call to your Legislator's office can make a big difference. Legislative staffers keep notes and share the number of constituents calling regarding each interest. There's power in numbers!

  • Remember to wrap up your call with the most important takeaway, a personal story, and/or budget ask.
  • If making a legislative funding request, let them know of the specific request and help them understand where these programs live in the budget.

5. Schedule a Meeting with Your Representative

Putting a face to the issue is powerful! When you meet with your legislators, they can see the real-life impact of policy on child welfare.

We are living during virtual times, which has its advantages! Since people do not have to schedule "travel time" in-between in-person meetings, it opens up more time in their schedule to meet virtually.

Below is a step-by-step guide to setting up a meeting.

  • Call the offices of your Representative and Senator and identify yourself as a constituent. Ask to speak to the scheduler. Ask if the Legislator or a staff member (meeting with staff is okay!) has 15 minutes for a meeting (if you would like to meet in person), or if a staff member has 5 minutes to speak to you over the phone about your topic of interest in their district.
  • Let them know what you are supporting or what you have concerns about.
  • If making a legislative funding request, let them know of the specific request and help them understand where these programs live in the budget.
  • Ask for their support.
  • Follow-up your conversation with an email or, more preferably, a handwritten note, thanking them for their time and support of your program in their district!
  • Include pictures or other tangible items from your topic of interest, if possible.
  • Share additional data or resources on your program topic of interest, and let them know that you are available as a resource to them.

6. Complete and Share Advocacy Alerts

There's power in numbers! When Legislators receive large numbers of letters from their constituents, they know the issue matters and affects many. TexProtects has made it easy to send our state leaders messages about important issues to our community. Our advocacy alerts are pre-written letters on individual topics that can be customized (if you choose) and sent to your representatives quickly when you enter your zip code. These advocacy alerts take less than a minute to complete and can be shared with your network through emails and social media to increase impact!

Visit our Contact your Legislator page to find our current advocacy alerts.

Our Mission

Our mission is to protect Texas children from the trauma of abuse and neglect and empower families to thrive through education, research, and advocacy. Our vision is that all children are safe, nurtured, and resilient. Learn more about the work we do. You can help protect Texas children from abuse & neglect. Find out how you can help.

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