An important note from Elaine Zimmerman
Commissioner Vicki Turetsky of the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement has asked a few groups with strong connection to parents to seek feedback on the current child support program. They are very interested in its effectiveness, performance, and how the program can be improved.
Please take five minutes to fill out the link below and offer your input as a parent on the giving or receiving end of child support. Your comments and ideas will be summarized and offered to the federal government for improvements in law. This is anonymous, but assures your experience with the law and your suggestions for the future are heard.
Thank you for taking the time to do this. Your input matters. We ask that you share this opportunity and the survey links with others who give, receive, or have 'opted out' of Child Support.
The Parent Leadership Training Institute enables parents to become leading advocates for children. Parents' opinions are often unheard. They lack advocacy skills, but not the motivation or will to change their children's lives. The PLTI teaches parents, who wish to improve the lifelong health, safety and learning of children, how to become practiced change agents for the next generation.
Parents define the curriculum and participate in its evaluation and outcomes. Each class of parents mentors the next class, creating a pyramid effect of community caring and developing a coalition of parent leaders.
General Program and Purpose
The PLTI program is a two-generation strategy to bolster parental involvement while promoting the lifelong health, safety and learning of children. The program integrates child development leadership and democracy skills into a parent curriculum. Parents attend a 20-week program. The application process is competitive. Family supports such as child care, meals and transportation are provided. The classes are evaluated by parents for both short and long-term outcomes.
The Parent Leadership Training Institute strives to:
- 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 and responsibilities to utilize the civic process optimally;
- Develop communities of parents that will support one another in both their skills development and successful parent action for children;
- 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.
Investing time and energy now in developing strong parent leaders will have a profound and lasting impact on the health and vitality of our communities.
The definition of Parent Leadership and its cornerstones:
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 the belief that when the tools of democracy are understood, parents will actively enter civic life.
The PLTI Curriculum
The Parent Leadership Training Institute curriculum helps parents become the leaders they would like to be for their children. The twenty week course and civic practice offers detailed information on how change occurs in states and neighborhoods to improve child outcomes. Parents focus on their interests in a supportive context. Participants span age, race, culture and education level, creating a diverse community of families working together for children and youth.
Parents are offered five phases of training, built on interactive adult learning practices: A retreat to develop group and define mission; ten weeks on parent leadership with focus on voice, difference, values, and family and community strength; ten weeks on how change occurs for children, including best practice, data analysis, model policy, network building and a communications framework; a parent- selected community project to practice civic learnings; and an optional Alumni Program, after graduation, to share projects and exchange information.
The PLTI curriculum offers a two-generation strategy to bolster parental involvement while promoting the lifelong health, safety and learning of children. The curriculum braids child development, leadership, and democracy skills together. A graduation follows in a local civic setting or the State Capitol with community and state policy leaders in partnership. An optional Children's Leadership Training Institute for the children of the parents-in-training, uses children's literature to teach parallel content.
In The News
- "School and home are symbiotic" (Democrat and Chronicle)
- "Local woman helps build park in south Cheyenne" (Wyoming Tribune Eagle)
- "Creating leaders: New program aims to get Woonsocket parents engaged" (Valley Breeze)
- "Leadership is All in the Family at Catalyst Miami" (Essay by Gina Ha, PLTI Coordinator)
- W.K. Kellogg Foundation announces recipients of $13.7 million investment to empower parents as leaders and key decision makers in education (Press Release)
- "Just call it germ warfare" (Washington Post)
- "School board candidates discuss issues" (Democrat and Chronicle)