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NORC-SSP Senior Advocacy Training. Anita Altman Deputy Managing Director Government Relations & External Affairs UJA-Federation of New York. UJA-Federation of NY. Largest, local philanthropy in the world Network of more than 100 social service, health care and community agencies

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norc ssp senior advocacy training

NORC-SSP Senior Advocacy Training

Anita Altman

Deputy Managing Director

Government Relations & External Affairs

UJA-Federation of New York

uja federation of ny
UJA-Federation of NY
  • Largest, local philanthropy in the world
  • Network of more than 100 social service, health care and community agencies
  • Pioneer in developing new approaches to help enable seniors to remain living in their own homes as they grow older
  • Invested in the development of the first professionally staffed supportive service program at a NORC in the country
  • Remains a leader in helping to promulgate NORC program model replication with local, state and federal funding
what is a norc
What is a NORC?

Naturally Occurring Retirement Community

(NORC) – a demographic term used to describe a community:

  • Not originally built for seniors
  • Significant proportion of its residents are seniors
definition of a norc program
Definition of a NORC Program

NORC Supportive Service Programs are public-private partnerships of:

  • Housing/neighborhood organizations,
  • Residents,
  • Health and social service providers,
  • Community stakeholders, and
  • Government agencies

to organize and develop services and programs to advance successful aging in place.

norc supportive service programs
NORC Supportive Service Programs

A Community Change Model

NORC-SSPs are dynamic programs that aim to be responsive to their communities by:

  • Empowering seniors to take on new roles in the community,
  • Fostering connections within the community, and
  • Maximizing the health and well being of all older adults in the community.
norc programs integrate
NORC Programs Integrate:
  • Community Engagement (educational programming, community action initiatives, and opportunities for seniors to take on new roles).
  • Social work services (to individuals, caregivers, and groups of seniors).
  • Health care-related services (addressing both individual health management needs and the health of a community).
jpac advocacy training for norc ssps jpac joint public affairs committee
JPAC Advocacy Training for NORC-SSPs (JPAC - Joint Public Affairs Committee)

Provided an opportunity for NORC-SSPs to identify “new blood”-seniors who may not currently be active, but who want to learn a new skill set of community organizing and leadership.

jpac advocacy training for norc ssps
JPAC Advocacy Training for NORC-SSPs
  • A stream-lined, 2 day immersion training session that was customized for the senior residents of NORC programs. 
  • Each borough had its own training program, with the goal that seniors would develop close-working relationships and collaborations on issues of common concern.
  • Transportation, if required paid for by this initiative.
jpac advocacy training for norc ssps1
JPAC Advocacy Training for NORC-SSPs
  • Teach the critical fundamentals of advocacy.
  • Taught by outstanding practitioners.
  • Each NORC program’s delegates were asked to bring an issue of community concern to work on during these sessions.
  • Advocacy Institute staff was available to help each NORC develop its own action plan.
jpac advocacy training for norc ssps2
JPAC Advocacy Training for NORC-SSPs
  • Each session had a capacity of 28 participants
  • Each program assigned a staff person to be trained in addition to 2 residents
  • There were no out of pocket expenses for either the programs nor the residents
jpac advocacy training for norc ssps3
JPAC Advocacy Training for NORC-SSPs

These characteristics were suggested to look for when recruiting volunteers:

  • Someone who will make a commitment to use the training
  • Someone who is vocal, and has an outgoing personality
  • Someone who has connections in the community, and can possibly bring in others to participate in activities
  • Has ability to work in a group  and not be disruptive
  • Seniors should reflect the different religious, ethnic and racial groups in the NORC community
  • If a senior has need for a translator need to try to secure.
norc ssp jpac participant letter
NORC-SSP JPAC Participant Letter
  • Goal to learn or improve your advocacy skills, so that you feel you can be effective in helping to address issues of concern in your own community.
  • Intention is for each NORC supportive service program to organize an Advocacy Committee in which you will play a key leadership role.
participants training pre survey
Participants’ Training Pre-survey
  • Rate your level of experience in the following activities (1- no experience, 2 – some experience and 3 – much experience)
    • Planning / Chairing a Social Action or Community Meeting
    • Speaking to your Group or other Community Groups,
    • Working on Voter Registration
    • Recruiting Volunteers
    • Planning / Participating in Intergenerational Activities
    • Building Coalitions
    • Coordinating / Participating in Legislative
    • Actions: letters, phone calls, visits
community issues identified during the trainings
Community Issues Identified During the Trainings
  • Transportation: MTA & Access-A-Ride
  • Membership: recruitment & retention, attracting younger seniors
  • Safety: neighborhood & police presence
  • NYC Housing Authority problems
  • Public Safety and Sanitation
training evaluation
Training Evaluation

Over 80% of the seniors trained rated the institute excellent.

  • Seniors rated the following segments:
    • Techniques of Social Action
    • Community Building
    • Public Speaking Using Issues
    • Engaging in the Legislative Process
participant comments on training
Participant Comments on Training
  • This enhanced my ability to speak in public
  • I now feel like I can take NORC a step further. I feel empowered.
  • Learn to speak on what NORC does and means
  • It provided concrete methods to plan social action groups
  • Gave me ideas on how I could advocate for program and senior needs.
norc jpac advocacy institute resident update
NORC JPAC Advocacy Institute Resident Update
  • What issue did your community select, and why?
  • What are you trying to do about it?
  • How are you going about working on it
    • what specific actions have you taken?
    • What additional information do you need?
    • What are your next steps?
jpac participant updates
JPAC Participant Updates
  • Petitions have been sent to Gov. Paterson to stop funding cuts to NORCs.
  • We have increased our membership in the past 5 months and have been able to engage our seniors in the community more effectively. 
  • Last month we had emergency preparedness through the Red Cross come speak with our seniors, community members and partnerships.