Member at large advocacy column

Advocacy update

Div. 37's board discussed advocacy issues at their midwinter meeting.

By Sangeeta D. Parikshak, PhD

Greetings to all Div. 37 members interested in advocacy. I am the new member at large for advocacy for the division, and my charge is to ensure that children's and psychologists' interests are represented through Div. 37 members in larger APA activities.

Advocacy comes in all forms – from advocating for a child's right to services under IDEA, to lobbying for stipends for doctoral level internships on Capitol Hill. In my current role as an executive branch policy fellow at the Office of Head Start, which is a federal-to-local program, I find myself advocating in a variety of capacities on a daily basis, including helping to determine if individual programs are following regulations to ensure the safety and health of children in the program to advocating for appropriate mental health services for children from birth to five years old. My background as a clinical child psychologist and knowledge of the research in this area informs my advocacy in this capacity.

This past month, the Div. 37 board met for their midwinter meeting in which we fleshed out a variety of advocacy related initiatives that the division would like to engage in. These include: 1) continuing to recruit for and develop advocacy training videos from a variety of psychologists to demonstrate the breadth of advocacy related activities that psychologists can engage in; 2) profiling Div. 37 members in The Advocate that are engaging in advocacy-related work; 3) recruiting members for Div. 37's Advocacy Committee to help ensure that advocacy is reflected in current and future functions and activities of Div. 37. If you are interested in joining the Advocacy Committee, please email us for more information and an application.

I look forward to working with Div. 37 members in my new capacity as member-at-large for advocacy. Please look out for new advocacy-related materials on the division's website.