Summer 2017





Resources for Engaging Families and Building Parent Leadership

"Meaningful Parent Leadership occurs when parents gain the knowledge and skills to function in meaningful leadership roles and represent the 'parent voice' to help shape the direction of 
their  families, programs and communities." 
Adopted by Strengthening Families Georgia in 2016

Parents Anonymous® Inc.
National Parent Leadership Month Tool Kit, 2003

Implementing Parent Engagement in Georgia

Family engagement is the shared responsibility of families,
early education programs, and communities to promote, 
support and sustain family wellbeing, healthy child development, 
strong family-child relationships, and lifelong learning for 
all children and families. (DECAL, 2015)

Since the DECAL Family Engagement Task Force, with assistance from BUILD and key stakeholders from across the state, developed   A Roadmap for Engaging Families with Young Children  in 2015 a lot has happened to support family engagement at DECAL. Efforts include partnering with the National Center for Children in Poverty to revise and pilot the Family Engagement Self-Assessment tool used in Standard 3 of the Quality Rated portfolio. As well as create and pilot a Family Engagement Parent Survey that providers will use as a communication tool with families. DECAL has developed and delivered a course on Family Engagement for Directors in two of the E3Z zones. They also funded a Strengthening Families Georgia course for Quality Rated programs, Connections: The Foundation of Family Engagement. 

In April 2016 DECAL awarded 21 Family Engagement Community Grants to Family Connection Partnerships Collaboratives around the state.  The goal of the grants were for the local Family Connection Partnerships Collaboratives to identify goals, strategies, activities, and resources to increase and strengthen all families' capacity to support the growth and development of their young children and to fully participate in family engagement activities in their communities by addressing one or more of the following Strengthening Families protective factors: Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, Social Connections, and Social and Emotional Competence of Children. As well as ensuring that all families have access by identifying and partnering with local service groups that support families with children with disabilities, families experiencing homelessness, families for whom English is not their native language, and other families with complex needs. 

DECAL is one of 16 states now involved with the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement State and Tribal Systems Peer Learning Community on Family Engagement. These are just a few of the many Family Engagement opportunities happening at DECAL. We look forward to sharing how these efforts are progressing.

The report A Roadmap for Engaging Families with Young Children can be accessed here .

FRIENDS National Resource Center
Engagement Strategies and Parent Leadership 

Parents are central to family support models and should be encouraged to develop to their potential. Parent support, education and leadership work together to help them develop the skills to do just that. By fostering parents in the role of expert and leader, families benefit from improved self-worth and as better advocates for their needs, while programs benefit from being more responsive and accountable to the families they serve.

This website includes unique resources such as Stories of Parent Leadership, newsletters for families and professionals and self-assessment tools.

Child Welfare Information Gateway
Family Engagement and Leadership

Service providers can foster a more trusting relationship when they approach parents as the experts on their own children, listen openly to their concerns and perspectives, and seek solutions with them (rather than provide solutions to them). Parents engaged in this way are more likely to invite and welcome providers' support in evaluating needs, developing goals, and identifying effective ways to strengthen the family and provide care for children. Service providers can also promote self-confidence and empower parents to take a leadership role in their communities and the agencies with which they are involved.

Center for the Study of Social Policy
Growing and Sustaining Parent Engagement
A Toolkit for Parents and Community Partners

This Toolkit is a quick and easy guide to help support and sustain parent engagement. It provides how to's for implementing three powerful strategies communities can use to maintain and grow parent engagement work that is already underway by c reating a parent engagement  1) Roadmap,  2) Checklist and  3) Support Network.

The toolkit includes stories on successful strategies and an extensive list of resources.

Funding Information


"This project was supported in part by the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services (DHS-DFCS) through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Community Based Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CFDA 93.590).  Points of view or opinions stated in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the DHS-DFCS or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Community Based Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CFDA 93.590)."

For more information on Strengthening Families Georgia contact Jeanette Meyer, Strengthening Families Georgia 
Statewide Coordinator:
or visit our website at
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