In the previous post, we gave you five tips on how to become a better self-advocate. Here are five more you can use, starting immediately.
1. Know your appeals rights.
Request clean, written information on your appeal rights, either within the agency or outside the agency. Know what the next step will be if you are dissatisfied with the outcome.
2. Be assertive and persistent.
Keep after what you want. Remember that effort moves bureaucracies.
3. Use communication skills.
Have a plan outlining your concerns. Stay calm and express yourself clearly. Be willing to listen because what you hear may be as important as what you say.
4. Ask for help.
Link up with an advocacy organization, such as your local foster parent association or the state foster parent association. Another source of help is the foster parent liaison with your local agency.
5. Follow up.
Don't give up without using your skill. Agencies are accountable for the decisions they make. You are entitled to know and exercise all your options to obtain the assistance you need. Remember to say "Thank You," a little gratitude and recognition goes a long way the next time you need assistance.
Parents, do you have any tips on how to be a better self-advocate? Please feel free to share...