In many places around the world where parent advocacy exists, it does so only because parent advocates are driven by their own deep commitment to supporting other families to volunteer their time. They guide individual parents, run support groups, organize their communities and lobby for legislative change–all for free.
But parent advocates bring hard-won knowledge, skills and precious time to improving outcomes for families that deserve compensation. Payment sends a message that the work of parent advocates is essential, and it recognizes that parent advocates, like other professionals, need to be able to support their families.
Here, parent advocate and CEO of Re-Unify Family Solutions, Heather Cantamessa describes her own long journey to be valued for her work, and to be compensated accordingly. Her story is featured in the Building a Parent Advocacy Organization section of the Toolkit for Transformation.