Parent - The National Parent Leadership Institute

Report
Parent Leadership
A Civic Strategy for Children and Community
• Child health, learning and safety outcomes need
significant improvement.
• Parents are marginalized as a constituency for children
and as a resource for child program and policy
decisions.
Bolster the skills and
voice of parents as
an authentic
constituency for
children.
The Parent Leadership
Training Institute
of the
Connecticut
Commission on Children
To enable
parents to
become leading
advocates for
children.
Parent leadership is the capacity for
parents to interact within civic society
with purpose and positive outcomes
for children.
The cornerstones of PLTI are respect,
validation and a belief that when the
tools of democracy are understood,
parents will actively enter civic life.
Retreat to develop group and define mission
↓
8-10 weeks on parent leadership with focus on voice,
difference, values and problem definition
↓
8-10 weeks on how change occurs for children
including best practice, data analysis and model
policy
↓
A community project to practice the learning within a
community context
↓
Graduation at a local civic setting or State Capitol
↓
Alumni projects and trainings
Understanding personal
history & impact on
leadership
Using benchmarks &
outcome measures
Thriving & working with
diversity
Assessing & defining
problems – thinking
critically
Using the media & public
speaking
Forming useful coalitions
& building community
Working with & engaging
the opposition
The functions of the family
Becoming familiar with
city, state & federal laws
Understanding policy &
municipal budgets
Help parent become the leaders they would
like to be for children.
Expand the capacity of parents as change
agents for children.
Teach parents the tenets of democracy and
their rights to use the civic process optimally.
Develop communities of parents that support
one another in skills development and parent
action.
“Sometimes we feel that we are
not heard because we are ‘just
parents.’”
– Parent
“I wanted to learn as many
leadership skills as I could and
help my community at the same
time.”
– Parent
Develop communities of parents within child-focused
institutions such as early care and education, schools,
and Title V programs.
Facilitate parents’ capacity to offer input into
community efforts on the school, neighborhood,
regional and state level.
Facilitate systems change for parental involvement
with increased utilization of parents in policy and
process decisions.
“PLTI helped me realize that I had
the information to share with my
community, but not the right
language.” – Parent
“I learned that the power of one
person can make a difference.”
– Parent
•
Community matters.
•
Relationships are basic to change.
•
Parents lead children.
•
Intergenerational environments offer tutelage, spirit and natural mentorship for children.
•
Diversity strengthens collective action.
•
Both fathers and mothers are necessary to change.
•
Parents are consumers and should be pivotal leaders in child and family policy.
•
Democracy is the bridge linking the public, parents and cultures.
•
Expectation brings response.
•
Dignity is the backdrop to parent involvement for children.
• Parents are a large and ignored constituency, ready to act on
behalf of children and families.
• Parents provide invaluable insights about family needs and
preferences.
• Parents can broaden public support through their informal and
formal networks.
• Research shows that parent engagement improves school
performance and community safety and reduces healthcare
costs.
• Influence public policy decisions
• Present the consumer voice
• Assure that programs work
• Spread the word about goals and outcomes
• Mobilize communities
• Bring diverse sectors together for children
“I want to learn more about
kids and how I can organize a
group that organizes people. I
want to get more people
involved.”
– Parent
There is a critical gap between parental desire to effect change
and civic capacity.
– What are the crucial variables to parent leadership success?
– What leads parent empowerment to be enduring? And
– What are the significant processes to bring in parents interested in child
outcomes?
• Knowing that each parent’s involvement matters
• Feeling supported, respected and acknowledged
• Assuring diversity among participants, facilitators and speakers
• Receiving hands-on training and family supports such as dinner
and child care
• Holding trainings that can be applied to a variety of settings and
policies
• Acknowledging efforts and inspiring next steps
• Developing realistic and attainable expectations and goals
• Creating a safe space where parents feel comfortable and truly
valued
• Looking at progress at every step of engagement
• Developing authentic parent ownership in the change process
• Create both horizontal and vertical strategies
 An informed and active citizenry
 Benchmark 1: knowledge and interest
 Benchmark 2: participation and commitment
 Political order based on social equality and protection of individual rights.
 Benchmark 3: social and economic equality and opportunity
 Benchmark 4: tolerance and diversity
 Political order based on community and individual values and needs.
 Benchmark 5: our “commonwealth”
Health
19%
Other
28%
Safety
13%
Health
Safety
Education
40%
Education
Other
Race of Participating Parent Leaders
Mixed
6%
Other
2%
Asian/Pacific Islander
3%
White
31%
Native American
4%
Hispanic/Latino
31%
Black/African American
24%
PLTI’s participating parent leaders in 2012-13 were racially diverse with nearly one-third Hispanic/Latino (31%), White (31%), or
Black/African American (24%).
Income Level of Participating Parent Leaders
$85,000+
16%
Less than $20,000
24%
$60,000 to $84,999
12%
$40,000 to $59,999
19%
$20,000 to $39,999
29%
Twenty-nine percent of PLTI’s participating parent leaders in 2012-2013 reported a total household income of $20,000 to $39,999,
and almost a quarter (24%) reported a household income less than $20,000.
Knowledge of State and Local Government
100%
95%
93%
89%
90%
87%
87%
Percent of Parent Leaders
80%
70%
60%
50%
46%
45%
48%
37%
40%
30%
20%
18%
10%
0%
Do you know
how state
government
budgets are
made?
Do you know
how state laws
are made?
Do you know
who your local
representative
for city
government is?
Pre-Survey
Do you know
who your elected
representative for
the State House of
Representatives is?
Do you know
who your
representative for
the State Senate is?
Post-Survey
Before the training, fewer than half of PLTI parent leaders in 2012-2013 understood how state government budgets or laws are made,
or who served as their local or state congressional leaders. After PLTI, 89% to 95% of them had knowledge of these processes or
individuals. For example, only 37% understood how state laws are made before the training, compared with 95% after completing the
training.
Level of Skills or Frequency of Activities
1=I don't know what this is; 2=I don't know how; 3=Never;
4=Yearly; 5=Monthly; 6=Weekly; 7=Daily
Skills and Activities
6.00
5.00
4.00
4.03
5.24
5.06
5.05
4.12
4.09
5.02
3.89
4.83
3.78
4.51
3.52
3.00
2.00
1.00
0.00
Advocating for an issue Community organizing Consensus building skills Assessing strengths and Developing projects or Using outcome data to
or public policy
assets in your community programs to address determine if a program or
needs in your community project achieved what it
started out to do
Pre-Survey
Post-Survey
Before the PLTI training, parent leaders indicated they rarely (from “never” to “yearly”) advocated for an issue or public policy, engaged in
community organizing activities, used consensus building skills, assessed strengths and assets in their community, developed projects or
programs to address community needs, or used outcome data to determine whether a program was successful. After completing the
training, parent leaders showed an increase in their use of skills and participation in these activities to “monthly” or nearly “monthly.”
Civic Literacy and Empowerment
Level of Civic Literacy and Empowerment
1=None of the time;2=Some of the time;
3=Most of the time; 4=All of the time
4
3.28
3
3.01
2.80
2.16
2.11
2.93
2.21
2.77
2.53
2.17
1.86
2
1.53
1
0
I know what to do when
problems arise in my
community.
I get in touch with my I understand how public I understand how service I make sure I have regular
I am able to get
elected officials when
policy affects my
systems for communities involvement with people information to help me
important legislation or
community.
are organized.
who are providing
better understand my
ordinances affecting my
services in my
community.
community are pending.
community.
Pre-Survey
Post-Survey
Before PLTI training, parent leaders indicated limited involvement with people who provide services or with elected officials about
important legislation, and limited understanding of how service systems are organized in their community, how public policy affects their
community, or how to obtain useful information to understand their community. After completing the training, parent leaders showed an
increase in their understanding and involvement with community services and elected officials to “most of the time” or nearly “most of the
time.”
Participation in Civic Activity
100%
88%
90%
79%
Percent of Parent Leaders
80%
73%
70%
60%
64%
55%
61%
53%
53%
53%
50%
40%
34%
34%
27%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Attended a town council, board Spoke or made a presentation at Used the media or social media Contacted an elected official at Circulated or signed a petition to
of selectmen, school board, or
a town council, board of
(Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to
the local, state or federal
gather support for a civic issue
other community meetings
selectmen, school board, or
express a viewpoint
government
of importance to you
other community meeting
Pre-Survey
Engaged in other civic or
community activities
Post-Survey
Before PLTI training, fewer than half of the parent leaders had presented at community meetings, contacted local officials or circulated a
petition for an important civic issue. After completing PLTI, at least half reported engaging in these activities.
1.
Family civics is not a single action by a single agency, but a framework to assure the
parent voice as a diverse and critical constituency for children.
2.
Parents can be taught the civic skills to lead deeply and gracefully, and to impact
change for children and youth. Parents can be very strong assets and family policy
partners.
3.
We are a nation based on service rather than civics. We service the family and neglect to
partner in a shared strategy, for improvements in child health, safety and learning..
4.
Though we rely on the customer in market choices and trends, we do not rely on the
customer in child policy.
5.
Once parents have the skills to improve contexts and to partner for children, they become
a strong consumer voice for equity, quality and access and a true gauge for what works.
6.
Parents are able and willing to cross race and class boundaries for improved child
outcomes.
7.
It is as important to teach agencies how to work with parents as partners as it is to assure
that parents have a civic toolkit for child policy.
8.
Family policy, with the family behind it, offers depth and public accountability.

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