In this assignment, you will use the provided template to compose a letter to a legislative member that advocates for you to take specific action on an issue that affects a marginalized population of your choice.
Examples are not limited to but may include advocating for the following marginalized populations:
LBGTQ+ population (that is, banning conversion practices, if still permitted in your state).
Older adult population (that is, work force discrimination).
Low socioeconomic status families (that is, lack of resources to assist the homeless population in your state).
Individual living with a disability (that is, lack of equitability in the workplace for adults living with a disability).
Racial inequity (that is, disciplinary disparity with racially diverse youth in the school setting).
In your letter, you will need to emphasize evidence and research-based reasoning to support your platform. However, you should not completely disregard the use of anecdotal evidence of patients to emphasize the human and emotional elements of the issue you are addressing. Additionally, keep in mind that you are advocating from your role as a counseling professional on behalf of the clientele that you serve, so your voice is that of your counseling specialization. You are representing the profession, so you will want to make sure that your letter is based on research and facts rather than solely personal opinions.
In your letter, make sure to address the following:
Present your counseling specialization (for example, CMHC or SC), your ethical obligation to advocate for marginalized populations, and scientifically grounded practice.
From what counseling specialization are you approaching this issue?
How do your profession and ethical code guide you toward advocacy for marginalized populations and scientifically grounded practice?
Explain the risks to the identified population for which you are seeking legislative protection.
What are the risks facing the identified population?
How do these risks endanger or negatively impact individuals from this population?
Why do these risks warrant legislative protection?
Describe how therapeutic interventions grounded in best practices promote help seeking and optimal development among individuals and families.
What are examples of therapeutic interventions grounded in best practices?
What is the evidence that these interventions promote help seeking and optimal development among individuals and families?
How is this relevant to the population and issue you are writing about?
Advocate for specific legislative or policy action on the grounds of its benefits for a specific population.
What is the specific legislative or policy action?
What are its benefits for a specific population?
Why are these benefits worthy of the time and resources to create new legislation or policy?
What are the risks of not taking legislative or policy action?
Communicate an argument regarding an advocacy issue that is persuasive, respectful, and promotes interdisciplinary collaboration between counselors and relevant governmental offices.
Apply the principles of effective composition.
Determine the proper application of the rules of grammar and mechanics.
Apply a persuasive technique to your writing.
Your letter should meet the following requirements:
Written communication: Written communication must be grammatically correct and free of errors that detract from the overall message. Writing should be consistent with the graduate-level scholarship.
Template: Please use the ACA Advocacy Toolkit [PDF] to help you craft your letter. There is a template in the packet that you can use.
APA format: Cite all references using APA style and on a separate page provide a reference section.
Number of resources: A minimum of three (3) scholarly sources from peer-reviewed journals, textbooks or reputable associations/organizations, such as ACA, ASCA, NIMH, or NIH, published within the past 5–7 years. Distinguished submissions typically exceed this minimum.
Length of letter: 1–3 double-spaced pages, not including the reference page. Please be sure to keep the letter focused and to the point.
Font and font-size: Times New Roman, 12 point.