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Karen Jones, NALLTCO Co-ChairCindy Englert, NALLTCO Co-ChairLouise Ryan, Ombudsman Specialist, ACL/AoA
Local Ombudsman Representative(volunteer or paid staff)Employee of the State OmbudsmanState OmbudsmanOther?
Who is Joining Us Today?
What is systems advocacy?Role of State and Local Ombudsman programsState Ombudsman - recommendchanges to laws, regulations, and policies as theOfficedetermines to beappropriate; andProvide leadershipto statewide systems advocacy efforts of the Office … including coordination of systems advocacy efforts carried out by representatives of the Office.Local - dutiesof the representatives of the Office are to “review, andif necessary, comment on … government policies andactions
Older Americans Act – Systems Advocacy
Advocacy strategies…May be internal to your agencyMay be administrative advocacyMay be legislative advocacyAdvocating for program resources may involve all of the above
Advocacy – external and internal
The Ombudsman, as head of the Office, shall have responsibility for the leadership and management of the Office in coordination with the State agency, and, where applicable, any other agency carrying out the Ombudsmanprogram…This is a group effort!
Unified Statewide Program
Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.Eleanor Brown
How could your residents thrive if you had more resources for your Ombudsman program?How could your staff and volunteers thrive if you had more resources for your Ombudsman program?
Work in small groups 2 – 3 people10 minutes to complete your dreamUse federal Ombudsman requirements (see handout)
Building Your Dream Ombudsman Program
Money is not an issue – you can have as much as you need. If you spend it all, you get more.Local, state and federal politicians are helpful and willing to write AND pass any laws you needYou have to comply with Federal Ombudsman requirements
Building Your Dream
How many staff would you add?What would your office look like?What technology would you and your Ombudsman use?
Share Your Dream
How many facility visits would you make?How would you educate residents and the community about long term care issues?How would you structure your program management?What else?
Share Your Dream
The California Experience2007/08 – All state funds cut2013 Federal sequestration – budget cutsTons of staff positions and office hours cutVolunteer numbers down (no one to support them)Facility visits and complaints down and all other services too
How Do You Achieve Your Dream?
We significantly increased the effectiveness of the State Local OmbudsmanAssociationWe passed legislation to be sure the State Ombudsman was allowed to take positions on funding or laws without permission from the Governor’s officeWe used legislative advocacy to restore statefunding
Ombudsman Advocacy to the Rescue!
Build your state Ombudsman association, if applicable and work with your state OmbudsmanProtectionStrength in numbersStaffing to achieve goalsGet to know your state legislative processGet to know your legislators
Turning Your Dreams to Reality
Learn where you can find bill informationUnder the direction of the state Ombudsman comment on bills – let legislators know how bills will affect facility residentsGet to know current laws
Turning Your Dreams to Reality
Talk with legislators – they have staff who will help youBe a resource to legislatorsThey need your help too
Turning Your Dreams to Reality
Be sure you have a message to shareCheck the dark sideView your message from all sidesMost IMPORTANT RULE!!!!!NEVER EVER GIVE A POLITICIAN A PROBLEM WITHOUT ALSO GIVING THEM A SOLUTION. YOU WILL NOT LIKE THEIR SOLUTION.
Create Your Message
NALLTCOState OmbudsmanCLTCOAConsumer VoiceAging AssociationsAARPAdvocacy Associations/Agencies
Get Help
My first step is______________I am going to do these three things to make it happen_________ ________ _________I am going to reach out for help if I need it
When You Get Back to Your Office…





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