When parents share their unique perspective and experiences with other families in order to help improve programs for children, then they are leaders. A parent leader can be anyone in a parenting role: parent, foster parent, grandparent, relative or other guardian.
Parents show leadership in a variety of ways, such as encouraging other parents to be involved, participating in community meetings, school advisory committee, focus groups, or speaking at conferences or meetings. Parent leaders may advocate for child issues with local, state or national decision-makers (e.g. mayors, school boards, legislators). The value of parent voices has the potential to impact not only their homes but their neighborhoods, communities and states.
These activities encourage self-reﬂection and peer-to-peer learning with other parents to promote collaboration and leadership. Parent Cafés provide a safe, non-judgmental opportunity for parents and caregivers to engage in conversations about what it means to keep their children safe and families strong. Conversations are structured around questions related to each of the five Strengthening Families protective factors to promote positive relationships between parents and those who provide early care and education services.
Family Leadership & Volunteer Network
This network of parents is working to strengthen communities. The network provides opportunities for parents, advocates, family members and professionals to volunteer their time to give back to communities.