Citizen Advocacy Groups

Groups of concerned citizens who advocate for quality long-term care, services and supports and quality of life for residents and consumers in their locality, state or region sometimes self-identify as "citizen advocacy groups" (CAGs).  These groups can be structured organizations with budgets, staff and offices or can be a small group of individuals who meet around the kitchen table to share information and strategize about how they can work to improve the long-term care, services and supports in their community.

Members of these groups are often people who have or had loved ones in a long-term care setting and are concerned about individuals receiving long-term services and supports.  Despite their diversity, CAGs share a commitment to improving the quality of care, services and supports and quality of life for residents and consumers who are in need of long-term assistance.  They may be able to inform you about resources in your state, quality in particular facilities or settings and the current status of long-term care, services and support in your state. 

Opportunities for Citizen Advocacy Groups

Consumer Voice Announces Grants For Two Citizen Advocacy Groups

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) is pleased to announce the availability of grants to two citizen advocacy groups (CAGs) in the amount of $4,000 each. The grants are part of phase two of the Consumer Voice's project Quality Care, No Matter Where: Consumer Guides for Self-Advocacy, funded by the Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation. The goals of this project are as follows: (1) to educate older aduts and individuals with disabilities about the various options for long-term services and supports available across the long-term care continuum; (2) to empower older adults and persons with disabilities to be self-advocates for quality services and supports; (3) to strengthen citizen advocacy groups that work on behalf of long-term care consumers; and (4) to forge new and meaningful partnerships with national and state disability groups.

CAGs will utilize these grants to develop state/local long-term care consumer guides and/or factsheets, as well as conduct a consumer outreach campaign to the aging and disability communities over the course of six months.

The Request for Proposal can be found here. The due date for proposals is October 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm EST. All proposal submitters will receive a notification via email (or postal mail, if an email address is not provided) regarding the acceptance or denial of their proposal by November 12, 2012. If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact Sara Cirba at or 202-332-2275 x 221.

We look forward to receiving your proposals!


Each year, Consumer Voice is pleased to make various educational, training, sharing and networking opportunities available to CAGs across the country.

  • Subscribe to Citizen Advocacy Groups Discussion/Listserv for Quality Long-Term Care.
Google Groups
Subscribe to Citizen Advocacy Groups for Quality Long-Term Care
Visit this group
  • From 2008-2009, Consumer Voice hosted several training and sharing conference calls for CAG members.  Call topics are listed below, and call recordings are available to CAG members free of charge.  To request a CD recording of a conference call, please contact Jessica Brill Ortiz, Project Coordinator: 202.332.2275, ext. 225;
  • 2008-2009 CAG Conference Calls:
    • CAG Advocacy Around Nursing Home Transition & Diversion Programs, Part I; March 25, 2009 - Speakers: Nancy Kirchner; Bev Laubert
    • CAG Advocacy Around Nursing Home Transition & Diversion Programs, Part II; April 7, 2009 - Speakers: Lori Smetanka; Richard Mallot; Jackie Majoros
    • Economic Stimulus Payment Call; May 6, 2009
    • CAG Advocacy Around Long-Term Care Facility Ownership & Transparency Issues; May 28, 2009 - Speakers: Pat McGinnis; Bob Bronaugh
    • CAG Advocacy for Quality Assisted Living Care in States; July 7, 2009 - Speakers: Diane Menio; Robyn Grant; Kilke Faber
    • CAG Advocacy and Fundraising in Hard Economic Times; August 27, 2009 - Speakers: Mitzi McFatrich; Wendy Meltzer

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Citizen Advocacy Group Toolkit

Organizing to Improve Long-Term Care in Your State & Community: A Consumer Voice Toolkit for Citizen Advocates was designed to support the daily work of long-term care citizen advocacy groups nationwide.The Toolkit aims to provide CAGs with organizational development resources that were chosen for their user friendliness and applicability to advocacy work.The Toolkit is intended to be a web-based, “living” resource subject to modifications and additions as the long-term care climate changes, opportunities arise and funding allows. View the toolkit.

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Citizen Advocacy Group Resource Packet

The Citizen Advocacy Group (CAG) Resource Packet is part of the project Citizen Advocacy Groups: Making a Difference in Communities and States, funded by The Retirement Research Foundation (RRF). Click here to view the Resource Packet.

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Finding Citizen Advocacy Groups

View contact information for the citizen advocacy groups in several states. We hope that the information provided will enable people around the country who are interested in nursing home reform to connect with each other and organize to bring about change for nursing home residents. If you know of other advocacy groups we should add to our list, please let us know!

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Learn and Take Action!

Visit Consumer Voice's Government Policy Section!

  • View up-to-date information on Congressional Hearings, Bulletins, Legislative Proposals, etc.
  • Access policy tools and information
  • Learn about additional ways to get involved as an advoate

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 Fact Sheets

Find consumer-friendly information on issues affecting residents such as residents' rights, malnutrition, the use of restraints and changing the culture of long-term care facilities.

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Long-Term Care Omudsman Programs

Find contact information for the long-term care ombudsman program in your state. In addition to acting as an advocate for residents, ombudsmen can educate residents, families and friends about resident rights, state surveys, and federal and state laws that are applicable to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

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Consumer Voice's Family Council Center

View information on Consumer Voice Projects related to family councils, family council rights that are protected by federal law, regulations applying to long-term care facilities, effective council advocacy, and tools for forming an effective council. Family members in a facility can join together to form a united consumer voice which can communicate concerns to facility administrators and work for resolutions and improvements by forming a family council. Family councils can play a crucial role in voicing concerns, requesting improvements, supporting new family members and residents, and supporting facility efforts to make care and life in the facility the best it can be.

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Additional Resources

Click on the links below to view further information and resources from the Alliance for Justice website.

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