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Advocacy - Together We Can!



VPEC Position on Public Education

Public Policy/Advocacy Agenda 2017

In 2017 Virginia’s voters will have the opportunity to elect all 100 members of the Virginia House of Delegates AND three statewide officers: Governor, Lt Governor, and Attorney General. Some candidates will be selected in “firehouse” primaries in their districts; others will be selected in primary elections on June 13th. All statewide candidates will be selected in the June primary. Check with your local election registrar ( for information on the primary.

Use the VCA Public Policy/Advocacy Agenda 2017 and the Virginia Public Education Coalition’s Position Statement

Candidates are now holding town hall meetings and attending other forums where they state their positions and also seek information from the participants. That is where you come in. Two documents can help with your advocacy. These are the VCA Public Policy/Advocacy Agenda 2017 and the Virginia Public Education Coalition’s Position Statement.

Our public policy agenda was created last year using multiple association members’ input. Use it to educate the candidates on:

  • The need for increased numbers of qualified school counselors to help students stay mentally and physically healthy and be well prepared for success in school and careers.
  • The need for increasing access to individuals in need of counseling services for mental health and substance use disorder.
  • The need to make certain that all Virginians have access to health care services.
  • The need to support evidence-based alternatives to youth incarceration.

The Virginia Public Education Coalition’s position on public education can be used to guide questions on public education in general as well as give information about areas of importance to educators, including school counselors. The themes that cut through the statement reflect:

  • The need for adequate resourcing of public education, including school counselors.
  • The emphasis on preparing graduates to think critically and be ready for careers and/or post-secondary education. Talk about the role that school counselors play in helping to prepare graduates.

Thank you in advance for your advocacy. Don’t hesitate to report your encounters to Becky Bowers-Lanier, VCA advocacy consultant, at

VCA Annual Legislative Day
is held every January in Richmond. The Virginia Assembly is only in session for three months of the year, so this is the time to get involved. The event is FREE and is open to all interested in helping to make a difference!
The 2017 VCA Legislative Day will be held on Monday, January 30, 2017 at the UR Downtown Richmond, Gallery Room.  To register, go to 


Advocacy Relations Committee

The Advocacy Relations Committee is responsible for monitoring, reviewing, and taking appropriate action in consultation with the President, regarding state legislation and regulations that affect counseling. Federal legislation and regulation will also be monitored by the Advocacy Committee, with action as appropriate in concert with the American Counseling Association. The Chair(s) of this Committee are for a three-year term and serve as the Government Relations representative for Virginia and contact person with the ACA Advocacy Relations Committee through the regional chair. Get Involved!

Want to take action now? Do you feel strongly about an issue affecting counselors? Visit the Advocacy section of our Resources page. You can learn how to contact legislators, find out about important issues, and understand how money affects the politics that affect you.

Go to and look at the drop down menu under “Government Affairs.” Or you can go directly to “Take Action” at

Advocacy Committee 2016-2017

Advocacy Committee Chair: Stephanie Kasparek,; Anne Henry,

VCA Lobbyist:  Becky Bowers-Lanier,

The Chair of this Committee is encouraged to attend the ACA Convention and to be active in the American Counseling Association-Southern Region (ACASR). The Advocacy Committee chair(s) is responsible for the following tasks:
  • Develop advocacy relations training for chapters and divisions
  • Facilitate the formulation and writing of VCA's legislative platform
  • Plan and host an annual Legislative Day to inform members about proposed laws or public policies that affect counselors, advocate for counselors through lobbying visits to elected representatives, and cultivate relationships between counselors and legislators during a VCA sponsored reception
  • Watch legislation of counseling concern in close liaison with VCA's lobbyist,
  • Help formulate stategies and positions, and direct lobbying efforts
  • Organize an advocacy relations telephone tree to alert chapters and divisions about evolving legislative and public policy issues of counseling concern that require a constituent response
  • Solicit, review, and approve or disapprove local legislative mini-grant program requests from chapters or divisions


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2017-18 VCA Board of Directors Mtg

9/28/2017 » 9/30/2017
Clinical Supervision Training - September 28, 29 & 30, 2017

11/9/2017 » 11/11/2017
2017 VCA Convention Sponsorship Opportunities

11/9/2017 » 11/11/2017
2017 VCA Convention Registration