"Care, NOT Coercion" Campaign
We provide vounteer educators and advocates with opportunities and resources necessary to launch effective targeted education and strategic advocacy campaigns challenging the stigmazing and harmful use of inappropriate and unnecessary institutionalization of youth.
We provide leadership development, legal, technical, research and policy assistance to CAFETY Chapters and other grassroots community groups engaged in a wide range of community development efforts nationwide. Our work is informed by the belief that real and lasting change is rooted in the empowerment of grassroots, community institutions.
CAFETY Chapter leaders will be provided with opportunities for leadership development and advocacy opportunities both in their own community and on a national platform. Advocacy opportunities include: academic conferences, family support conferences, youth councils, forums for the purpose of receiving public comment on proposed regulations, workshops, legislative hearings, and presentations at public venues.
In the absence of legal protections at the state and federal level, CAFETY engages in a small amount of direct and grassroots lobbying in support of legislative solutions.
Media Relations and Public Speaking Volunteer Opportunities
CAFETY currently has a developed collective of over 400 residential program alumni nationwide who have volunteered to present at local events and conferences and speak with the press. Please contact us should you wish to have a CAFETY volunteer speak at your event or if you are a member of the press seeking to speak with alumni from a specific program or a program within a specific state, we will do our best to connect you.
As part of this project, CAFETY collaborates with youth empowerment organizations nationwide. We invite young people who have participated in community based care to share the their experience and highlight the practices that differ from the residential program experience, with a focus on how youth are empowered to be partners in their own care. Our belief is that the stigma of youth with challenges that is caused by institutionalization and the lack of community care are two of the most significant contributing factors to the ongoing choice by parents to send their children away. It is the very existence of these institutions that perpetuates their existence. Success stories of youth recovering from mental health challenges in their community reduces stigma and dispels the myth that long term (over 90 days) institutionalization is ever appropriate.
Referral Resource and Direct Advocacy
More information coming soon!
Working with families, we file formal complaints to private accrediting bodies, trade organizations and government regulators, track responses and issue periodic, and offer state specific recommendations based on our findings. We believe that the presence of state regulation and accreditation of residential programs alone means little and must be measured against the comprehensiveness and capacity of reporting mechanisms and monitoring to adequately respond to the consumers needs and concerns.