What we do and how we do it

Building Strong Foundation - Workshop Notes

April 29th 2020

In our meetings we
We build exclusivity together - we use pronouns, hold each other accountable 
No racism, sexism, bullying, sharing safely (mindful sharing) the things we say to each other and about each other lift us up 

Advocacy there are many different kinds of activities designed to promote a cause or idea. The Fostering Change Community Organizers envision advocacy as a tool that allows people's voices being lifted up.

Different types of advocacy 

Self advocacy, Systemic advocacy, Advocacy Group (those that influence policy), Legal advocacy. 

Why do we use systematic advocacy 

Systemic advocacy seeks to influence and change a 'system' such as legislation, government policy and community attitudes. Systemic advocacy aims to create change and a more informed understanding of the lived expertise of youth in/from care.

An advocacy group is an organization whose members share a common political, economic, or social interest and try to advance those interests through the political process. 

So, what exactly does Fostering Change do?

Organizing and mobilizing- when people organize they take on more leadership and more of the work themselves.  There is a broad movement for youth in/from care and join the organizers to join as advocates in that.
Campaign Organizers organize to get the team to Victoria to do the work 
Folks who join Fostering Change are mobilized to come as they are to do the work.

Campaigning: work in an organized and active way toward a particular goal, typically a political or social one.

Campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making progress within a specific group.

Campaign(ers) - create and action strategy to get to the goal 

Campaign organizer - Anita and I work on behalf of the campaign to strategize and focus the effort - all the behind the scenes work (meetings with stakeholders (who), letters, website updates, meetings, events for the campaign, we take the information you give me and make action out of it Anita and I have spilt the tasks to our strengths to best serve you - the campaigners 

We, as the advocacy team, call ourselves the Fostering Change Community Organizers.

Putting the 1000 piece puzzle together  

Lobbying refers to specific activities intended to influence legislation, and there are rules governing these activities. Works on specific policy issues - not general or broad issues.  Must register and record activities with the province.

Is it a hippie thing? - Grassroots - what is it?

Grassroots lobbying is any attempt to influence legislation by swaying the opinion of the general public. 

  • Asking the public to vote for a certain piece of legislation.

People in the community as the basis for the political movement.

A guiding compass
There are lots of moving pieces - like how we advocate, how that is organized, what strategy we use when campaigning and who we lobby and how (the tactics).

Strategizing is turning what you have (resources) into what you(power) need  to get what you want (change) - strategy is to pick which route will be taken and tactic is how we are going to reach the goal.

Creating a Theory of Change:

Things to consider:
Who are my people: the audience, allies, foster kids, siblings, policy makers.

A Theory of Change - highlights what we want, why we want it, and how to get there.
It is a statement that helps answer the “if, then, because” of our work in the campaign.

  • Effective campaigns develop their members so the movement can grow and keep going

Theory of Change If we do this action , then we should expect this goal, because this happened as a result of the action

“If we politicize child welfare by sharing our lived experiences through youth speaking to

stakeholders, and leveraging media achieve to public support, then the AYA program will

become universal and comprehensive, because the government is publicly accountable.”


Media and the campaign

Maybe you've heard of Fostering Change on the news or seen us mentioned in print/articles.
You will never be asked/forced to speak in public - when and if you decide to you will be supported by the Fostering Change Campaign Organizer with preparation materials, notes, and a debrief session. 

What we heard from the Fostering Change Community Organizers in relation to media:
- seeing folks from your own community in the media gives you a feeling of “I can do it, a highlighted hope”
- likes to be involved in the news, segments and video production. No need to to write - and this medium makes this member more comfortable.
- like the cultural aspect and the opportunity to shatter folks previous thoughts about an issue.
- Affects more than the person watching (family, friends and those in the room, or those it is shared with on social media) 

Why media is important to campaigns -
Media brings your campaign to the view - media makes what you are doing and the actions you are taking more accessible to the public.

  • Folks in government are accountable to the public - they read the newspapers and watch the news as well. 
  • Those folks that can't attend, or don't attend the gatherings can see what we are up to in newspapers and on tv. 
  • This gives folks the option to “attend” by building awareness, even if they are opposed to the issue(s).