The Principles that Citizen Advocacy was founded under:

Advocate Independence

Advocates are free to act in the best interest of their partner. Their actions are not dictated to them, but rather supported and aided by support from program staff.

Loyalty to Partners

Advocates are to actively represent the best interests of their partners. Their loyalty is not to the Citizen Advocacy Program, staff, other people in the partner’s life, or the social service system. This makes their role unique.

Program Independence

The Citizen Advocacy Program is to be free from any conflict of interest. This relates to the overall structure, place of location, affiliations, financial base, etc. The responsibility to enact and protect this principle lies primarily with the board.

Clarity of Staff Function

The Citizen Advocacy Program Coordinator is responsible for carrying out the Key Activities of the program. They are not to do the advocacy, but to provide support to the advocates. They are responsible for the day-to-day activities of the program, but not the fundraising and governing duties.

Diversity of Needs & Roles

The Citizen Advocacy Program is to represent (as best as possible) a wide base of needs and categories of people with developmental disabilities.

Positive Imagery

The Citizen Advocacy program (and all those involved) should represent positively and respectfully people with developmental disabilities.

Bottom Line:

These principles make us unique. They are person centered (i.e. centered around the best interests of people with developmental disabilities.