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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 Affairs Committee)

  • 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 Affairs Committee)

  • 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 Affairs Committee)

  • 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 Affairs Committee)

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 Affairs Committee)

  • 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 Affairs Committee)

  • 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 Affairs Committee)

  • 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 Affairs Committee)

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 Affairs Committee)

  • 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 Affairs Committee)

  • 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 Affairs Committee)

  • 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.