Leadership Team Update
The Strengthening Families Leadership Team meeting was held on November 16, 2016. A brief report follows.
The meeting began with "Reports from the Ground," a recurring segment which focuses on Strengthening Families Protective Factors implementation, featuring Pat Clancy, special advisor to the Secretary of the Department of Human Services. Clancy's focus is on expanding and raising awareness about the Workforce Investment and Opportunities Act (WIOA) and the services it provides in local communities for individuals seeking employment. The programs can support individuals move from part time to full time work, obtain on-the-job training and get support for educational expenses. These services can help a family to achieve economic security, leading to strengthened communities. Leadership team members discussed how they can connect with local workforce investment boards to share the message of strengthening families and a two-generational approach to supporting families. For more information about WIOA and programs that support youth and families visit the Workforce Development webpage.
The Strengthening Families Leadership Team has three subcommittees: Evaluation and Planning, Marketing, and Professional Development. All leadership team members are welcome and encouraged to join a subcommittee if their work schedule and time permits.
The Marketing Committee reminded the group to watch for the next newsletter which will be released soon.
The Professional Development Committee met in October and discussed upcoming professional development projects. In addition to the Be Strong Parent Café Initiative, a Café Overview workshop focused on the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework has been developed and will be reviewed by the committee. New professional development projects include adapting existing Strengthening Families Overview Courses to different audiences such as healthcare professionals and family support supervisors.
Leadership team members discussed ideas regarding how to utilize the Raising of America documentary series in local communities to further conversations about supporting families. An ad hoc committee was formed to support this work.
The next meeting is scheduled for February 8, 2017 at the Center for Schools and Communities
Practice Spotlight: Pennsylvania Implementation of Be Strong Parent Cafés
Be Strong Parent Cafés provide opportunities for parents to come together to have intimate and meaningful conversations about parenting. Using questions developed by parents, participants engage in reflective conversations that promote peer-to-peer learning. Cafés are built on the concepts of adult learning and rooted in the purpose of providing opportunities for parents to learn about and build the Strengthening Families Protective Factors.1
In Pennsylvania, many agencies have expressed interest in bringing this model to parents in their communities. Through the Strengthening Families Leadership Team, several initiatives engaged in a Training of Trainers process provide instruction to local communities. Representatives from the Community Innovation Zones program, the Children's Trust Fund, the Pennsylvania Parents as Teachers program, the Center for Schools and Communities, and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning have engaged in a year-long process to be certified as instructors of the Be Strong Parent Café model. Through this process, 17 teams from agencies across the state received training to implement cafés with technical assistance from the instructors. Moving forward, instructors will host Parent Café
Training Institutes that will be open to interested communities. To learn more about the Parent Café model visit the Be Strong Families website. If you are interested in receiving instruction to implement cafés, contact PA Strengthening Families.
1 Parent Cafés. Be Strong Families. http://www.bestrongfamilies.net/build-protective-factors/parent-cafes/. Published July 23, 2015. Accessed February 1, 2017.
Partner Spotlight: Register to Be a PA One Book Guest Reader or Host Site
Help support early literacy during April through Pennsylvania's One Book, Every Young Child. Individuals are invited to be a PA One Book reader during the month of April at an early learning program in your community. Registration is also open for early learning programs to host a guest reader during April.
The PA One Book, Every Young Child is Pennsylvania’s collaborative project using the vehicle of One Book, One State program to highlight the importance of early literacy development. This year's selection, Daniel Finds a Poem, written and illustrated by Micha Archer, is a story about a boy who goes on an adventure through a park trying to find answers to his question, “What is poetry?”
Reading events will take place during April. Guest readers are provided with a copy of the book and can select a time and date during April that works best with their schedule.
Register Now As a Guest Reader and/or Host Site
Deadline: March 8, 2017
Event Spotlight: Family Engagement Conference
October 15-18, 2017
2017 Family Involvement Conference
Best Western Premier The Central Hotel & Conference Center, Harrisburg, Pa.
Attend the conference, register now.
Share your expertise and present a workshop; deadline March 17, 2017.
The Strengthening Families Leadership Team works to sustain and weave the Five Protective Factors, which are social and emotional competence of children, knowledge of parenting and child development, social connections, concrete support in times of need and parental resilience, into policies, program and practice across child and family service systems.
Relationships • Strong Families • Respect