AFABC recognizes the need for advocacy for both the adoption community and the population of children and youth in government care that would benefit from a permanent family or relationship. AFABC believes that these families and individuals have unique needs and rights which at times may not be well met by existing systems and social policies.
In determining the need for advocacy around an identified issue, AFABC will be guided by its mission, vision, and promise statement.
A. AFABC, in keeping with its non-profit charitable status and in accordance with its constitution,shall actively engage in the following types of advocacy:
- Systemic or Social Policy Advocacy that addresses issues related to fair and/or equal treatment of members of the adoption community when held against treatment of other types of families (i.e. Rights of children and youth to legal permanency, parental leave, E.I. benefits, identification documents) as well as special needs and adoption-competent services (support, mental health programs, financial assistance).
- Community Advocacy including awareness and sensitivity of community and public organizations to the needs and special circumstance of the adoption community (i.e. schools, health providers, cultural communities, and special needs service providers).
B. AFABC shall promote self-advocacy for clients, empowering individuals to understand their rights, articulate their needs, and exercise self-determination. Awareness of complaints policy and procedures is essential to self-advocacy. Self-advocacy may also include reaching out to external advocacy resources such as independent advocacy bodies, peer advocates, citizen advocates, or a statutory advocacy system.
C. Case Advocacy: AFABC shall not engage in Case Advocacy. Case advocacy usually involves a specific issue and requires an advocate to “take a side” and demonstrate loyalty to an individual. Given the nature of our work and the pervasive issues of confidentiality and privacy, AFABC believes it is inappropriate for the organization to take a judgmental position. Where individual circumstances represent a pattern of need or treatment, AFABC may identify an issue as appropriate for Systemic or Community Advocacy.