Toolkit for Change: A Guide for Starting an Education Advocacy Project in Your State

About This Program

Target Population: Community advocates interested in identifying and training skilled advocates for the educational needs of children and youth who are in out-of-home care and school (elementary to high school), including youth with special education needs who qualify to receive educational services until age 21

Program Overview

The Toolkit for Change: A Guide for Starting an Education Advocacy Project in Your State provides ideas, plans and tools for starting an Education Advocacy Project like the one developed by TeamChild in Washington State in collaboration with Casey Family Programs. The Education Advocacy Project in Washington involved developing a comprehensive education advocacy manual, a brochure, and organizing trainings with the goal of providing information about the educational rights of children. The Toolkit is designed to help other communities kick start an education advocacy project in order to build the pool of knowledgeable education advocates for children and youth involved in foster care.

Program Goals

The goal of the Toolkit for Change: A Guide for Starting an Education Advocacy Project in Your State is:

  • Give advocates the tools they need to improve educational outcomes for children and youth in out-of-home care:
    • Understanding of and access to applicable laws
    • Familiarity with the systems involved
    • Basic negotiating skills

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Toolkit for Change: A Guide for Starting an Education Advocacy Project in Your State.

Essential Components

The essential components of The Toolkit for Change: A Guide for Starting an Education Advocacy Project in Your State include:

  • Foster care youth need strong education advocates in order to realize improved educational outcomes. This toolkit is a resource for communities interested in identifying and training strong educational advocates, including foster parents, caseworkers, social workers, group home workers, Court Appointed Special Advocates, youth, and educators. Contents include:
    • Introduction
      • Goals of this toolkit
      • How to use the toolkit
    • The Need for a Nationwide Advocacy Movement
      • Education is the Foundation of a Fulfilling Life
      • Children in Out-of-Home Care are at High Risk for Educational Failure
    • The TeamChild – Casey Family Programs' Education Advocacy Project
      • The Initial Partners
      • The Components of the Education Advocacy Project
      • Writing, Review and Distribution of the Manual and Brochure
      • Training Curriculum and Outreach
      • Evaluation
    • Starting and Advocacy Project from Scratch
      • Don't Go it Alone
      • Creating Partnerships
      • Maintaining the Connections: Keys to Effective Partnership Building
      • Setting Goals: Getting to Where You're Going
      • Funding
      • Evaluation
    • An Informational Brochure: Tips for Creating Your Own Brochure
    • Education Advocacy Trainings: Tips for Organizing Trainings
    • Guide to Editing the Education Advocacy Manual
      • Editing Guide – General Tips
      • Chapter by Chapter Editing Tips
    • Other Ideas for Improving the Education for Children

Program Delivery

Recommended Intensity:

Implementing an Education Advocacy Project based on the guidelines in the Toolkit is a time intensive process requiring committed resources.

Recommended Duration:

While TeamChild's Education Advocacy Project took 9-12 months to implement, this toolkit includes many resources including existing materials that can be adapted. TeamChild estimates that a full-time person could launch an Education Advocacy Project in their state in 1-2 months. Once the manuals, brochures and training materials are developed, trainings can be provided on an ongoing basis.

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider


This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

The cost of launching an Education Advocacy Project will vary widely depending on what communities decide to do. Primary costs associated with the Education Advocacy Project developed in Washington State included:

  • Attorney time to adapt the brochure, manual and curriculum to reflect local state laws (Please note that a California adaptation of TeamChild's manual, Make a Difference in a Child's Life: A Manual for Helping Children and Youth Get what They Need in School, already exists.)
  • Costs of layout and printing of the manual, brochure, or other materials intended for use
  • Outreach/advertising
  • Rental of space for trainings, costs of snacks, etc.
  • Payment to trainers
  • Evaluation costs

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Anyone can use the Toolkit for Change: Starting an Education Advocacy Project in Your State. In order to implement an Education Advocacy Project, however, assistance from attorneys familiar with education law is required.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Limited free "Train the Trainer" assistance via phone or email can be obtained by contacting TeamChild. More extensive assistance or onsite training may require compensation.

Number of days/hours:

As needed.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Toolkit for Change: A Guide for Starting an Education Advocacy Project in Your State.

Additional References

TeamChild & Casey Family Programs. (2008.) Make a Difference in a Child's Life: A manual for helping children and youth get what they need in school. Available at:

Contact Information

Annie Lee
Title: Executive Director
Agency/Affiliation: TeamChild
Phone: (206) 322-2444
Fax: (206) 381-1742

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2015

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: July 2012