Citizen Advocacy of Chester County

An opportunity to stand by, for and with another person.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


 

A Vision
     Discrimination on the basis of disability is still woven into the fabric of community life. The gulf today between what is promised by systems, laws and services, and the reality of what is actually delivered is sobering.
     Our founders gravitated together around a commitment to stand up against this reality and find a way to keep people safe.  Conversations circled back again and again to one truth: that ultimately what keeps any of us safe is the people who care about us and are there for us – our relationships.
     They wanted to bring that safety net of relationship to people with disabilities who had typically been segregated and oppressed. They wanted to build on a vision in which every life is valued, protected and celebrated.

Into Action
     So they began, sometimes by quite literally passing the hat at board meetings, to fund the program that grew into Citizen Advocacy of Chester County.
     For 40 years, our purpose has been to bring people who would not ordinarily meet into relationship with one another. We ask them to spend time together and build trust so that protection, opportunity and action can grow.
     The impact? A person once isolated now has friends, community life, or even family.  An advocate finds her partner a new job. Another fights for his partner‘s education. A woman intervenes with medical staff to save her partner’s life. Another becomes Power of Attorney to ensure his partner’s interests. Another provides rides to appointments and errands.  Yet another turns eviction into the finding of a new affordable apartment.  The stories are all as unique as the two people in them – and as life changing for both.

Into the Future
     We’ve reached the 40 year mark because of your unwavering and wholehearted support, and it’s with deepest thanks for that steadfast generosity that we now look to the future.

Thank you!

 


We offer an opportunity to take action to ensure a better quality of life and an enrichment of opportunity for a person who may, because they have a disability, be suffering from isolation and segregation, rejection and danger, poverty and injustice.

Learn more about being an advocate

 

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What is Citizen Advocacy?

Citizen Advocacy’s mission is to initiate and support a variety of intentional relationships that provide advocacy for opportunity, protection from harm, sponsorship into community life, friendship, and justice for isolated people living with a disability.

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Citizen Advocacy is built upon the belief in the power and competence of the ordinary citizen to care and connect to others and to make a lifelong commitment to stand by, for and with another person, through good times and through challenging ones.

Learn more about who we are

 

Discover Advocate Stories

We are built upon the belief in the power and competence of the ordinary citizen to care and connect to others and to make a lifelong commitment through the good times and through the challenging ones.

Advocates choose one or several of many ways to understand, respond to, and represent that person’s interests as if they were the advocate’s own, thus bringing their partner’s gifts and concerns into the circles of ordinary community life. Many of these commitments last a lifetime.

Learn more about advocates’ stories

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our Mission

Citizen Advocacy is a means to promote, protect and defend the welfare and interests of, and justice for, persons who are impaired in competence or diminished in status, or seriously physically or socially isolated, through one-to-one unpaid voluntary commitment made to them by people who have relevant skills and resources.

Advocates choose one or several of many ways to understand, respond to, and represent that person’s interests as if they were the advocate’s own, thus bringing their partner’s gifts and concerns into the circles of ordinary community life. Many of these commitments last a lifetime.

Our Vision

A world in which each life is valued, protected and celebrated for its uniqueness, through a vested relationship.

 

The strongest force against injustice is an outstretched hand – Jeremy Baron

Friends in Deed – Sandy Loven

Our Principles

Advocate Independence
Each Citizen Advocacy relationship is freely given. Each citizen advocate is independent of the citizen advocacy office, of human services, and even of his/her advocacy partner’s family…loyalty is to the individual person…this allows the advocate to speak out and act with freedom and clarity.

Diversity of Relationships
The range of advocate roles and the nature of advocacy relationships are very diverse. Advocates choose, together with their partner, the direction and content of their relationship. Citizen Advocacy coordinators orient and support the advocates in these choices.

Program Independence
The Citizen Advocacy office maintains its independence from other human service organizations to help ensure that advocates will not have conflicts of interests.

Clarity of Staff Function
Citizen Advocacy coordinators do not act as advocates, and the program does not engage in other forms of advocacy. Coordinators focus exclusively on initiating and supporting matches and on organizational operations.

Positive Imagery
The advocacy office strives to be a model of positive interpretations and images of people with disabilities.