The Washington State Parent Ally Committee (WPAC) brings parent advocates from across Washington together to share the pressing issues they see on the ground and then to work toward passage of legislative change.
As the parent lead of WPAC for many years, Alise Morrisey understood that collaboration was key to the passage of many important pieces of legislation, including a bill about background checks that made it easier to place children with relatives; a bill that funded parent advocacy statewide; and a bill that gave incarcerated parents more time to reunify with their children.
Morrisey still believes in the power of legislative advocacy, but today, she says, she would like to see parent advocates push for more fundamental change to support families outside the child welfare system:
“During the years I spent as advocacy lead for the Washington State Parent Ally Committee (WPAC), what I thought we needed was to flip child welfare upside its head, and have it be a place where families could call and get assistance….My vision changed when I became pregnant with my second child and I asked myself, ‘If I needed help, would I call 1-866-END-HARM to get that?’ And my answer was ‘Absolutely not.’ Today I think we need to use those same policy advocacy tools to build something new so that communities in need are not exposed to further adversity, fear and trauma.”
Visit the Legislative Advocacy Section of the Toolkit for Transformation to:
>> Read the full interview with Alise Morrisey
>> Access a Lobbying Toolkit from Self Advocacy Resource Group (SARU) in Australia