What is a Parent Leader?
A parent leader is someone who is invested in making a difference in the future of families and communities. There are many ways that they do this. Parent Leaders at FIC enjoy the rewarding experience of working with other parents and caregivers of children/youth with emotional, physical and behavioral health care needs. Additionally, at a broader systems level, parents can use their personal experiences to transform the way services are traditionally provided by sharing their own “lived experience”. That is why our tagline is Parents Helping Parents: It’s Who We Are and What We Do! As parents ourselves, we know this approach works.
At Family Involvement Center we believe that every parent is a leader for their own family whether they step into the title of Parent Leader or not. Parents lead by example as they go to work, prepare meals and manage the day-to-day tasks of making their family a priority. We like to encourage parents to build their confidence to tackle their challenges with the support of other parents. This community support opens doors and presents parents with greater opportunities to use their confidence and skills in making a difference for others.
How Can I Become a Parent Leader?
Provide support and leadership through active engagement in your child’s services, including behavioral health, physical health, education and other areas.
Take our quiz - Family Leadership Self-Assessment Tool, (web-based quiz coming soon). This will help give you an indication of your readiness and current level of leadership.
Attend trainings offered to help build your knowledge and skills. Ask to shadow another parent leader as they attend various committee meetings for our counties (Maricopa and Yavapai) and the state.
Volunteer your time and talents at Family Involvement Center. Contact Anna Tracy (firstname.lastname@example.org) about FIC's Volunteer Program and/or the Community Time Exchange program that we host.
Become a member of our Parent Advisory Group at Family Involvement Center. This group meets regularly to offer a parent’s point of view on various projects and to help build and sustain our family-friendly work in Arizona.
If you are a ‘seasoned’ family leader having served in agencies and/or on committees in behavioral health and other child serving systems, we recommend the Family Leadership Network, which meets monthly to serve in two capacities. The first is to support network members as we carry the family voice to our respective agencies and work. The second is to use our collective voice to help change legislative and systems policies in order to strengthen the approach to serving families within our counties and state and to build collaboration among parents and professionals.
If you are interested in becoming active as a parent leader, contact Dawn Schoenstadt at 602.527.0111 or email@example.com.