Policy Advocacy

Click below for more detailed information on our policy priorities and activities for current and past legislative sessions:

TNOYS advocates for funding, policies, and programs that benefit youth who are struggling, their families, and the organizations that serve them. In addition to maintaining an active presence at the State Capitol and beyond to actively lobby on behalf of young people, we organize our members and the youth they serve and equip them to advocate directly.

We work at the grassroots level by facilitating advocacy training workshops, coordinating lobbying days, and producing newsletters with legislative updates and educational information regarding opportunities for our members to influence decisions. Additionally, we partner closely with other advocacy organizations and coalition groups that are also working to create a better world for young people and their families.

Check out our Advocacy Toolkit for some of the resources we have created to help make your voice heard in the lawmaking process:

Since TNOYS was founded in 1980, we have secured amazing policy advancements for and with youth in Texas, including:

  • We have successfully fought to establish and/or maintain funding for crucial prevention and early intervention programs, including the Services to At-Risk Youth (STAR) program and the Community Youth Development (CYD) program. We have also been a leader in advocating for important services for youth in or transitioning out of foster care, for services for youth experiencing homelessness, and more.
  • We successfully lobbied for legislation calling for the first statewide study on youth homelessness in Texas and then were contracted by the state to coordinate implementation of the study. Learn more here.

  • Our leadership and staff are consistently asked to serve on prestigious task forces and committees relevant to services for young people, including the Public Private Partnership for Foster Care Redesign, the Texas Interagency Council on Homelessness, and more.
  • We have ensured for decades that young people have a voice at the Capitol and in decisions affecting services they receive, including by coordinating the biennial Youth in Action event at the Capitol for hundreds of youth from across the state to share their stories and policy recommendations with policymakers.
  • We have successfully engaged service providers and other community members in efforts to advocate for quality youth services, essentially creating a movement of people willing to stand up for and support young people.