Helpful Hints and Sample Email to Your Legislator
Elected officials are your voice in government. To best represent you, they need to know how you feel about issues related to foster care and our child welfare system. The Alliance makes it easy to help you get in touch with your elected officials.
While you can always use information you have found through various sources, you should write your letter in your own words. Include specific information about the bill or program about which you're writing. Details about personal or local impact are very effective. Always be courteous, be very clear about what action you'd like your legislator to take and keep it as short as possible.
- Begin with an introduction of yourself or the organization on whose behalf you are writing. Use a simple statement, such as "I am a third-grade teacher at _______ elementary school" or "On behalf of my foster child and all foster parents..."
- Get to the point and tell your state Senator why you are writing and the support you are seeking. Follow your opening paragraph with a concise explanation of why you support or oppose the particular bill or issue.
- Follow your introduction with a brief statement of your issue or concern, such as "We urge your support for House Bill 1562 for foster parents which will [help keep children in state care safe, protect my personal information as a foster parent, include foster parents in team meetings, ensure that I receive the information I need to properly care for my foster child, provide reasonable notice for when a child must transition from my care, secure my right to attend meetings for my foster child and report on [his/her] well-being..."
Review your Senator's website to learn more about his/her platform so that you can customize your letter just like we've done below!
Example Letter to Senator Kevin Cavanaugh:
Dear Senator Cavanaugh ,
My name is John and my wife Jane and I have been foster parents since 2012 and have cared for numerous children of all ages. We urge you to support a comprehensive bill for foster parents that is independent of DCYF and holds the Division accountable for the way they treat foster parents. Although the foster parent handbook indicates that we are important members of the team, my wife and I have felt dismissed whenever we have advocated for certain services for our foster children, or when we have voiced our concerns about parental drug use and safety during parental visitation.
This bill should only be the start of your support for foster parents in New Hampshire. Over 70% of states throughout the country include rights for foster parents in statute. It’s time for our state to modernize its laws and ensure foster parents are treated fairly as important members of the foster care team. I've noticed you are passionate about standing up for all Granite Staters and are committed to working together to support all of our neighbors. The passage of this bill is indeed in alignment with your vision for the future of our state.
I’m sure you’re aware that the number of New Hampshire babies born drug exposed has risen over 67% in the past four years. In light of the current drug epidemic there is most certainly an increasing need for foster parents in our state. We cannot watch our foster children languish in the system any longer without proper support. Foster care reform needs to be a higher priority in our state. Please pass House Bill 1562 for better collaboration in foster care.
Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe
123 Main St.
Hudson, NH 03051