Whether you want to advocate for families, disseminate research to policymakers and the public, support Family Science and its professions, or get involved with policy in other ways that matter to you, NCFR's Policy Advocacy Toolkit can help you get you started on policy advocacy or lobbying in your U.S. state or at the federal level.


Learn About Policy & the Legislative Process

Track Legislation

Find and keep tabs on proposed legislation that affect families and Family Scientists:

  • BillTrack50: Track legislation at the federal and state levels in the U.S. Individuals can create a free “Citizen” level account for researching bills.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education, DEI Legislation Tracker: A record of U.S. legislation that would “prohibit colleges from having diversity, equity, and inclusion offices or staff; ban mandatory diversity training; prohibit institutions from using diversity statements in hiring and promotion; or prohibit colleges from using race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in admissions or employment.” Requires creating and logging in with a free account to read.
  • Guttmacher Institute, State Legislation Tracker: Tracks major legislative developments in sexual and reproductive health.
  • Equality Federation, State Legislation Tracker: Monitors state legislation affecting LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. Also notes federal legislation, court cases, and ballot measures that could affect equality.
  • Movement Advancement Project, LGBTQ Equality by State: Tracks more than 50 LGBTQ-related laws and policies by U.S. state, giving each state a policy tally that "scores the laws and policies within each state that shape LGBTQ people's lives, experiences, and equality."

Tracking Legislation by U.S. State

Each U.S. state provides a mechanism for tracking bills. Search online for your state legislature. Each state legislature website is different, but look for webpages or features such as “Bill Watch,” “Find a Bill,” “Bills,” or “Finding legislation." Or, this PDF provides URLs for legislation tracking by each U.S. state.

Tracking State-Level Academic Freedom Legislation

As part of advocating for NCFR members and for Family Science, NCFR monitors legislation that would have harmful consequences in higher education — for faculty, students, Family Science academic programs, and the discipline of Family Science overall.

Though this interactive map from BillTrack50, you can see current state-level and federal (U.S.) legislation regarding academic freedom:

Find the Legislators Who Represent You

In the U.S., these online resources can help you identify your federal-level representatives:

Looking for state legislators? Visit the official website for your state legislature. You should find information that says “Legislators,” or “Senate” and “House of Representatives,” where you can search for the individuals who serve your state district. (In a few states, the House is called the “Assembly” or “House of Delegates.”) Each state’s search is a bit different; in some states, you can search by your zip code, while in others, you may need to know in which district you live.

Write Letters & Get to Know Your Legislators

Learn Tips & Best Practices for Working With Legislators:

Even more resources are available in NCFR’s Policymaking Guidance collection.

Download Sample Letter Templates (these links download as Word documents):

Get Family Policy Recommendations to Share

NCFR creates and provides research-based content on families to educate policymakers and others who have an investment in families. Anyone is welcome to reference information and recommendations provided in these publications:

NCFR Research & Policy Briefs

NCFR's timely, educational, nonpartisan, objective research and policy briefs are based on high-quality research and include a family perspective. Briefs are peer-reviewed and include policy recommendations based on research. Topics include these recent publications and more:

NCFR Research Summaries

Research summaries provide information about issues related to strengthening and supporting families. Current summaries include:

NCFR has also published the article "The Intersection of Mental Illness and Gun Violence: Examining the Evidence to Guide Sound Public Policy" in its NCFR Report magazine.

Communicate Effectively to Policymakers & the Public

Communicating effectively with policymakers and other audiences is key so they can understand your message — whether you're providing research you've conducted, offering research-based materials and recommendations made by others, or working to introduce and advocate for Family Science to stakeholders who haven’t heard of it. These resources offer guidance and materials to help you:

Find More Policy Information & NCFR Board of Directors' Statements

NCFR Board Statements: A list of all statements by NCFR’s Board of Directors is posted online and may provide additional recommendations for you to share:

See more about all of NCFR’s policy work, including additional content, educational resources, work with the United Nations, advocacy for families, advocacy for Family Science and its professions, and more.

* Indicates an NCFR original resource that is free only to NCFR members and Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE).