Learning to Advocate for Children and Families


Upcoming Events

Ad vo cate (noun): a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.

When influencing the halls of power, whether those halls are in your town hall, your state capitol, or Washington, DC, advocacy makes a difference. In this free webinar series, participants learned skills to be an effective advocate for issues they care about and to play a meaningful role as a coalition member, grassroots organizer, and leader. From strategies for organizing like-minded people to methods for communicating messages to a variety of issue stakeholders, this series explored everything you need to start making an impact on matters most important to you.

All webinars are one-hour long and had live Spanish translation and closed captioning available.

This series was facilitated by Catriona Macdonald, MPP, President, Linchpin Strategies, LLC.

Episode I: The Nuts and Bolts of Advocacy
Tuesday, October 11, 2022, at 12 PM EST / 9 AM PST

This webinar begins with an overview of why advocacy matters and how it makes a big difference for infants, children, and families and the professionals who care for them. Over the course of the hour, you learn the nuts and bolts of advocacy, including:

  • Information that policymakers need to make decisions, including how an issue impacts their constituents and supporters
  • The helpful facts, figures, and personal stories that narrate and frame an issue, so it is easily understood and relatable
  • How visible an issue is in the community and among constituents and supporters, and the range of opinions about it
  • How to contact and learn more about your elected officials and those working on your issues, as well as advocacy and community coalitions
  • Ways to have your voice heard by identifying and volunteering with (or creating!) advocacy and community coalitions engaged in your issues
  • Strategies and methods for connecting to officials when you find them, and how to keep your issue front and center

Episode II: Telling Your Story for Impact
Tuesday, October 25, 2022, at 12 PM EST / 9 AM PST

In this webinar, you learn how to frame your issues and ideas to point toward solutions and tell your story for maximum impact on decision-makers and the policies they create. Specifically, we discuss in depth how to:

  • Share your expertise, know your audience, and identify your partners
  • Craft messages that resonate and paint a picture through details
  • Create assets for your issue by building connections

Episode III: It Takes a Village
Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 12 PM EST / 9 AM PST

This webinar explores the strategies and methods for implementing an advocacy plan and being the most effective advocate you can be. In this webinar, you learn:

  • Strategies for finding and recruiting others in your community to join you as advocates
  • Ways to spread your message through social media channels and the press
  • How to understand the influence and impact of unexpected advocates
  • The roles of community leaders and influencers
  • Ways to leverage voting cycles and elections to deepen your impact

Facilitated by:  

Catriona MacDonald headshot

Catriona Macdonald, MPP,  President, Linchpin Strategies, LLC

Catriona Macdonald leads Linchpin Strategies, LLC, where she assists organizations in the areas of health, education, and disability in communicating their priorities and needs to audiences at all levels of government. Since founding Linchpin Strategies in 2004, Catriona has led successful efforts to establish new medical research funds; protect small business opportunities from federal agency overreach and multi-million dollar competitors, and secure increases of more than $4 billion for early childhood education.

Catriona’s experience on Capitol Hill includes working for Senator Edward Kennedy on the Senate Labor Committee; staffing domestic social issues and appropriations for Congressman Steny Hoyer, the current House Majority Leader; and serving as the Legislative Director for Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, the current Chair of the House Appropriations Committee. Catriona’s experience in the executive branch includes working as a budget and policy analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget at the US Department of Health and Human Services. She received her B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Get Involved

Learn With Us

Babies and children, families and communities do the research on what it takes for them to flourish. Listen with us to what they’ve been learning. Watch a webinar. Check out the Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative. Join the Brazelton Touchpoints Center Learning Network. Join the conversation.

Picture of smiling boy