AASP's Advocacy Initiative

What is advocacy?

“At its core, advocacy is about getting others to understand an issue from your perspective and then take appropriate action. This requires knowing what you want to communicate, how, and to whom.” (NASP Policy Playbook, 2019, p. 7)

State Level 

Here at the Arizona Association of School Psychologists the Child and Family Advocacy Committee advocates for policies and practices that benefit children and families and support the growth of our profession.  We target efforts at the local, state, and national level to address school psychologist to student ratios, promote safe and supportive schools, and identify and support social justice and restorative practices in our communities.  

National Level

NASP has well-developed and detailed resources for advocates at all levels. They also spearhead efforts to advocate for children and adolescents at National Level and monitor federal legislation. https://www.nasponline.org/research-and-policy/advocacy

District and Building Level

Get inspired by the stories of others. The NASP Leadership in Action series shares stories, in a variety of formats, about school psychologists taking on leadership roles and making a difference in their districts. https://www.nasponline.org/lias 

Do you have a story that you would like to share about how you successfully advocated for an issue at the student, school or district level? Email your story to Marsha Spencer marsha.spencer@aasp-az.org to discuss sharing it in the next Intervention newsletter.

Attend an advocacy training offered by NASP, AASP, or AASP regional directors this year. 

Meet the Committee

The Child and Family Advocacy committee is comprised of board members as well as members at large. 

Chair: Marsha Spencer

Arizona Department of Education Liaison: Jennifer Ostrom 

Government and Professional Relations Liaison: Kristen Lilly

NASP Delegate: Samara Way 

Committee Members: Julene Robbins, Shannon Morse, Sheri Orrahood,  Asheeki Elmore, Carlos Calderón, Kathleen Rahn, Michelle Maccarrone, Floyce Chavez, Lisa Favela


Want to get more involved? Email Marsha Spencer at marsha.spencer@aasp-az.org 

Goals and Legislative Agenda

What We Do

The Child and Family Advocacy Committee will be working to: 

  • inform policy and law makers, particularly at the state level; 

  • promote legislative initiatives that support children, families and our field; 

  • build members’ capacity to advocate individually and collectively at the school, district, state, and national level to further the AASP vision  “for all children and youth to thrive in schools and communities, by promoting equity and excellence in educational and mental health practices”; and 

  • support AASP’s legislative agenda to

    • Advocate for the role of school psychologists as qualified mental and behavioral health providers 
    • Social justice concerns/initiatives
    • School psychologists’ expertise in best practices in assessment
    • Critical shortages of school psychologists
    • The advancement of leadership skills and qualities of school psychologists consistent with the NASP Practice Model

Who is Helping Us? The role of the Legislative Liaison. 
    • The purpose of the Arizona Association of School Psychologists (AASP) Legislative Liaison is to facilitate AASP’s state legislative agenda as determined through the AASP Executive Board and Child and Family Advocacy Strategic Plan. The Legislative Liaison will advocate for AASP priorities with elected officials and their staff, as well as any other relevant agencies and their staff. The Liaison has an agreement with the AASP Board for one year (i.e., 2020-2021). Based on quantitative and qualitative data collected, the AASP Executive Board will determine whether to continue the agreement with the Liaison for subsequent years.”

      Meet our 2020/2021 Legislative Liaison: Susan A. Cannata

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