An examination of the advocacy techniques employed by three state-level child advocacy groups

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Authors
Kinley, Gary J.
Advisor
Williams, R. Ann
Issue Date
1986
Keyword
Degree
Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department
Department of Elementary Education
Other Identifiers
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the advocacy techniques employed by three state-level child advocacy groups in a mid-western state and to determine the effectiveness of such techniques in influencing policy and legislation.The groups studied were a government-funded bureau, a professional association, and a varied member organization. Each was selected because it met the qualifications set forth for that particular group type. Data collection took place during June and July, 1981.The records examined during data collection included minutes of meetings, publications, fiscal reports, legislative reports and bills, by-laws, and newspaper articles. The data discerned from the records described the groups' founding, objectives, structure, membership, finances, and advocacy strategies, particularly public information campaigns, training, and lobbying efforts. Interviews were conducted with persons knowledgeable of the groups' activities, as necessary.Data were organized into the categories of background information, objectives, membership, structure, funding, and advocacy efforts. Issues considered by any of the three groups were classified either as legislation or as a child-oriented issue. Advocacy techniques utilized to advance a group's position on a piece of legislation were paired with the bill. The effectiveness of the techniques was determined via a scale which examined a bill's progression through the legislative process. Patterns of effective advocacy were listed. Similarly, advocacy techniques employed to advance a group's position on child-oriented issues were paired with the issues. Patterns of advocacy were discerned from that information.As a result of the data analysis, the following conclusions were made; (a) a variety of techniques were used by the groups and contributed to effective advocacy; (b) the techniques of writing to and meeting with legislators or their staffs on behalf of a group were utilized most commonly in successful efforts related to legislation; (c) collaboration and multiple efforts were related to effective advocacy; (d) the professional association was most successful in its legislative advocacy efforts; and (e) the three groups took more positions and utilized more advocacy techniques on child-oriented issues than on legislation.