“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Some of the most passionate and dedicated individuals I have ever met work in the field of early intervention; always going that extra step to assist children with special needs and their families to face not only the day to day challenges but also the challenges that will inevitably be presented throughout the child’s and family’s lifetime.
As home visitors, many of the children we see are part of our society’s most vulnerable population and may continue to be in need of services as they mature. Due to budget constraints over the past several years, California has experienced a dearth of funds to support the early intervention system. As a result, there are fewer individuals entering the field and the quality and scope of services have diminished. The current budget situation the state is facing is frightening and poses further significant threats to services for the children and families that we serve.
So, what is a home visitor to do about it?
There are many ways for you to take action in a way that is comfortable for you. A good first step is to find a group of people who have similar interests and find out what they are doing to advocate. An example of one such group is the Infant Development Association. (IDA) IDA has a Public Policy committee and a Public Policy link on their website.
To learn more about getting started in public policy issues, you can access the article “Getting Involved In Public Policy” by Williams and Sanders here:
-submitted by Karen Baas, Infant Development Association