The Power of Advocacy: Making a Difference for Children and Families 

February 1, 2024

The Power of Advocacy: Making a Difference forChildren and Families 

Guest Blog by CA Alliance Staff Member, Adrienne Shilton

Advocacy has been at the center of the California Alliance’s work since our organization’s founding in 2000. With sweeping changes to California’s child welfare, behavioral health delivery, and health care systems underway and intense pressures on families growing, bringing forward the voices of CA Alliance member organizations and the children and families they serve is more vital now than ever.  

In the State Capitol, the California Alliance is increasingly recognized as a source of trusted expertise for legislators considering changes to the laws governing the public systems our youth and families count on and how those systems are funded.

The decisions made in California’s Capitol have sweeping impacts on CA Alliance members and their ability to keep the doors open to children and families, to deliver the life-changing programs that transform lives, and on children’s opportunities to heal and thrive.

That’s why our advocacy team works hard every day building relationships with legislators and state agencies and making decision-makers aware of the impacts their decisions will have on member organizations and the children, youth and families they serve.  Still, it’s critical to know that advocacy doesn’t only happen in the Capitol; the relationships members have with legislators in their districts, the stories they share in the media or on their social media platforms, and their participation in Alliance events and advocacy days all contribute to our effectiveness in advocacy.

Whether it's championing a rate structure that lives up to California’s commitment to youth, fully funding the vital programs foster youth and their families need to thrive, building a workforce to deliver care for youth and families, or ensuring equitable access to education for all youth, our work requires shifting narratives and preconceived notions about the populations we serve.

CA Alliance advocacy, at its core, is about giving voice to the voiceless and strength to the stories untold.  In every initiative and policy championed by the California Alliance there lies a deep-seated commitment to justice, understanding, and compassion.  

The CA Alliance, like our members, is deeply committed to creating a world where our youth are unlimited in opportunity, and that means our policy agenda must be bold in confronting the longstanding and deeply rooted impacts of racism, homophobia and all forms of prejudice. In recent years, the CA Alliance has championed new approaches to dismantle biased school discipline policies, ensure LGBTQ+ youth find affirming resource families, and deliver equity in access to care for youth in the Medi-Cal program.

Together, we stand at the forefront of creating a brighter, more equitable future for all children, youth, and families in California. Through our unwavering commitment and shared purpose, we are not just advocating for change – we are actively shaping it. 


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