Speakers’ bureaus are an effective way of educating the public - gathered at venues such as
churches, clubs and associations, - about a diverse range of public child welfare topics such as:
what constitutes child abuse and neglect, the work of the agency, the need for community members to
report abuse and the need for foster and adoptive parents, volunteers and donations. Speakers’
bureaus are most effective when they are not seen as providing a “talking head,” but rather a peer
who can relate to the audience on a very personal level about the subject matter. A speaker might
be a staff member, a board member, or a foster or adoptive parent.
Since speakers will represent the agency, they should be thoroughly prepared, be knowledgeable
about the limits of their presentation and have good written materials for supplemental handouts.
It is important to be reliable. Organizations often set schedules well in advance and are not able
to make last minute adjustments. Having an alternate on-call is generally advisable.
As with other agency volunteers, consider tion should be given to thanking speakers for their
service through a recognition
plaque, annual luncheon or gift certificate.