The Caring Force FAQ
The Caring Force is a new initiative capturing the commitment, energy and compassion of individuals sharing a vision for a stronger human services sector and engaged towards its realization.
What is The Caring Force?
- The Caring Force is a coalition of individuals affiliated with human services who care about creating a stronger, more powerful and unified sector. The Caring Force will allow volunteers, human services workers, board members, and the families and friends of the people we serve to come together and advocate for the people we take care of – the people we care about.
- The Caring Force is an effort to communicate with our policymakers using one unified voice to ensure the needs of the human services sector are fully heard.
- The Caring Force advocates for providing the best possible care to the one in ten vulnerable state residents who require assistance and achieving better pay for dedicated direct care staff in Massachusetts who provide it.
Why now? Can our organization simply advocate on its own?
- There is strength in numbers. This is magnified by having one well-focused message that is delivered from thousands of voices statewide.
- We must advocate together. Being seen as a cohesive political block gives added strength to our requests to government for proper and predicable funding and fairness to all of our clients/consumers, staff, and organizations.
- Human services cuts affect all of us – from our clients and their families to our boards and staff. By joining together in The Caring Force, we can all speak with one voice and affect change for our sector.
What will The Caring Force do?
- Create a coalition of human services organizations, their service recipients, staff members, leaders, and interested parties that want to participate in more advocacy-related opportunities.
- Be identified by a unifying logo and a symbol that represents our common interests, and use common messages and themes that speak the truth about the essential nature of our sector.
- Maintain a web presence to engage human service supporters, including: volunteers, direct care professionals, administrative staff, board members, clients, consumers, and their families, many of whom use social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc. The Caring Force website is hosted on our domain, thecaringforce.org.
- Hold periodic meetings across the state and encourage all to come and discuss the human services sector. The Caring Force will build a sense of community within the sector, allowing those involved to belong to something bigger than any one of us.
- Meet with policymakers and discuss ways that we can improve the lives of the people we serve and the people serving them.
What’s expected of me? How about some quick examples?
People have to be involved in advocacy and make efforts to see positive change. When you sign up for The Caring Force, you will get information about how to become involved in the following ways:
- Join The Caring Force on our website (www.thecaringforce.org) and sign up for action
- Invite your staff, board, volunteers, clients, consumers, families and others to join
- Attend a rally organized by The Caring Force
- Advocate for legislation promoted by The Caring Force via phone calls and emails
- Visit with your legislators, city officials and federal representatives
- Write a letter to the editor in support of The Caring Force
- Participate in our social media campaigns, retweet our tweets and write on our Facebook wall
I’m a staff member at a human services organization. Why is The Caring Force important to me?
The Caring Force would benefit staff at human services organizations in many ways:
- By joining The Caring Force, you become a part of a larger movement comprising staff, managers, volunteers, clients, consumers, board members, and families who are committed to maintaining the high quality services we provide to clients and strengthening the state’s human services sector.
- You will receive vital information about The Caring Force and information from the Providers’ Council. Through your involvement in The Caring Force, you will discover what others are doing to advocate for better funding, learn about policies that support you and your work, and join with colleagues in opportunities to advocate for the sector.
- The Caring Force directly benefits from the Council’s policy agenda. We will be advocating for legislation and a budget that – among other things – could adjust your compensation and benefits fairly, increase your health insurance options, help you repay your student loans, and assist with other benefits.
That sounds good, but how much does this cost? What are the benefits of membership?
Being part of The Caring Force is absolutely free of financial cost. There’s no charge to join, and there’s no charge to renew. We simply want your energy, your thoughts, and your willingness to advocate. As long as you are committed to building a stronger human services system in Massachusetts, you are eligible to be a member of The Caring Force. What we need most is your energy and spirit.
This sounds like something I’d like to be involved with. Who do I talk to for more information?
Contact Kevin Gilnack at the Providers’ Council. You can reach him at 617.428.3637 x124, e-mail him at email@example.com or reach him on Twitter (@kgilnack). He’ll talk to you about next steps and let you know what you can do to be involved with The Caring Force.
Revised January 2012