What is advocacy?
is the building of relationships between government officials
and those they serve. The purpose of advocacy is to advance
a certain viewpoint, group of people, or cause by changing
or enforcing public policy. Because policy is enacted, interpreted,
and enforced at the local, state, and national levels, grassroots
advocates work with legislatures, executive branch personnel,
governmental agencies, and courts at each of these levels.
four most common targets for advocacy are:
Because legislative bodies enact laws, they are the primary
targets of most advocacy efforts.
Administrative agencies have responsibility for implementing
policy. Once laws are adopted, advocates must also see
that the agencies charged with adapting rules or implementing
laws do so.
If the executive branch fails to execute a law, advocates
can turn to the courts. In addition to compelling other
branches of government to execute laws, courts often interpret
laws, or stop government action that would interfere with
the execution of public policy.
Often the strongest tactic that grassroots groups have
is to generate media exposure and public attention to
are also educators and negotiators. To be effective, they
must be able to achieve credibility with policy makers by
demonstrating their expertise and eliciting empathy and
support for their issue.
type of advocacy is needed in elder abuse prevention?
in the field of elder abuse across the country have advocated
for statutory reform and needed resources at the local,
state, and national levels. The following list provides
a sampling of the issues they have addressed:
need for more resources for adult protective services
mandates and guidelines for the reporting and investigation
accountability by fiduciaries, persons with powers of
attorney, and guardians
and monitoring substantiated perpetrators
penalties for abuse
enforcement of restitution
to facilitate prosecution
provisions to encourage the reporting of abuse by certain
professionals and institutions, including banks
can I learn more?
on state laws related to elder abuse are available on the
website of the National Center on Elder Abuse. To visit
the website, click
here (you will leave this site).