Change starts with you. Join us as a volunteer!

How We Work

We train volunteers to advocate for children with their state Representative, state Senator, and County Commissioner. We also provide training in how the child welfare system works overall.

We schedule meetings for volunteers with their elected officials and provide talking points specific to each session. Volunteers are not alone in these sessions. They typically include other volunteers and a staff member or experienced volunteer advocate from Safe Passage.

The Commitment for Volunteers

  • Volunteers commit to attend training each year prior to the start of the state legislative session, which orients them to our state legislative goals. In some counties we also provide training on county-level initiatives.

    It works best if advocates attend trainings in person or participate in a live webcast. This allows for a question-and-answer period and clarifications of the content. If the training schedule doesn’t work for an individual volunteer they can also view a recorded training session. We also meet with volunteers just before their appointments with legislators to review the training. This recording shows the training that advocates received on our legislative agenda for the 2016 state legislative session.

  • Training is followed by visits to volunteers’ state Representative and state Senator, where they ask for their support for our current year’s legislative agenda. Volunteers may also be asked to meet with their County Commissioner in counties where we are advocating for practice changes or budget increases.

    These meetings are often complicated to schedule and very important to the success of our mission. As a result volunteers are asked to make every effort to keep these appointments.

    Click on the video above to hear from Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt who says it is hard to overemphasize the impact of constituent visits. Legislators value input from independent sources and appreciate citizens who travel to the capitol to meet them.

  • The last major commitment is for volunteer advocates to contact their elected officials by phone or email when a bill proposed or supported by Safe Passage is going to be heard in a state legislative committee, by the full state House or Senate, or in a county board hearing. Safe Passage provides advocates with a background explanation of the bill and the desired outcome, contact information for their elected officials, and suggested language for the email or phone call. Volunteers are also asked to copy Safe Passage staff on the emails so we can track legislative contacts.

    There are additional opportunities for those who want to get involved in more depth. Volunteers have contributed their expertise in areas such as graphic design, research, volunteer coordination, web development, and marketing. If you have a special area of knowledge please let us know and we will find a way to help you use it for kids!

We also ask all of our volunteers if possible to join us for our annual advocacy day at the Minnesota capitol, usually held in March. We work with your schedule needs that day and help you schedule the appointments to meet with your state legislators. It’s a fun and very important day and we hope you can join us!

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