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The FRIENDS National Center for CBCAP and the FRIENDS Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is pleased to bring to you Stories of Parent Leadership, excerpts from interviews of six parent leaders who work in their communities and nationally to help family support and child abuse prevention practitioners and organizations:

  • Gain appreciation for the journey of parents growing as leaders within their families, to leaders making significant contributions on behalf of other families within their communities and beyond;
  • Understand the value, benefits, challenges and behaviors associated with including parent leaders in family support and child abuse prevention program and policy development; and
  • Build capacity within local communities and on state and national levels to engage parents as participants and leaders in the design, implementation and evaluation of program initiatives aimed at the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Spoken with his/her own voice, each parent shares a unique story of how parent leadership has positively impacted their personal growth and the well-being of their children and families. Each further reveal how being encouraged and recognized for their leadership skills inspired them to partner with practitioners so that other families could benefit from effective family support programs and policy.

The FRIENDS PAC offers you these stories to further assist you in carrying-out your goals to meaningfully involve parents in your work to support families and prevent child abuse and neglect. Either singularly or combined, these vignettes can be used to increase public awareness or as tools to support training for staff, network members, partners, parents and other key stakeholders about the value of parent engagement and involvement. While the length of most vignettes is between 4-6 minutes, a 12-minute version is particularly recommended for intensive training. Links to versions of 6 vignettes are below.

Parent Stories

Art: A divorced dad of 2 daughters inspires his adopted pre-teen son to want to be a great father through his parent leadership activities, including starting a support group and joining the state parent leadership team. (download file)

Brenda: A mom, who becomes a grandmother earlier than she expected, uses her parent leadership skills to prepare her daughter to become a good parent. (download file)

Dawn: A married mom seeks parent support when all three daughters were under age 4. As part of the state parent leadership team, her participation in public awareness campaigns not only brings more attention to child abuse prevention, but serves as an inspiration to her children. (download file)

Eliza: A married mom of 4 girls uses her support group to make her community safe and healthier for families, facilitates the replication of support groups for moms of color throughout the country and currently leads an agency’s efforts to develop a parent leadership team. (download file)

Nancy: Married with 4 sons, this mom joined a parent support group as she struggled with discipline and feelings of depression. Encouraged by others who observed her leadership skills, she becomes a group facilitator, board president for a statewide child abuse prevention organization and now directs the state’s entire system of parent support groups. (download files)

Sam: A single mom of 3 sons, one with “unique and special abilities” learns firsthand the value of communities supporting parents and becomes a resource coordinator for other families. (download file)