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ERIC Number: ED481724
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-1-888324-38-4
Parents Becoming Leaders: Getting Involved on Behalf of Children.
Westheimer, Miriam
In order to assist professionals and policymakers more consistently engage parents in their work, this document uses the personal stories of several parents to illustrate how parents get involved in family programs and how some parents built on their natural leadership abilities to move from personal involvement to take on broader leadership roles. The report compares the client-driven and consumer-driven models of service delivery for families. The process of parental input is placed on a continuum from engagement to involvement to empowerment, with parent roles and actions defined at each phase. Seven stories of parents taking on leadership roles and tasks offer insight into how professionals and policymakers can move toward a consumer-driven model; the stories include ones in the areas of community recreation, child health, marketing and parent support, child safety, parent advocacy, early education and family support, special needs children and parent education. The report offers the following lessons for professionals who want to work with parents: (1) value time and be genuine; (2) use language carefully; (3) be relevant; (4) don't be intimidated by people with power; (5) make it a family affair and get everyone involved; (6) make the professional personal; (7) don't expect one parent to represent all parents; (8) listen carefully; and (9) don't shy away from the power of spiritual motivation, but respect diversity. Questions to assist parents in determining whether their involvement will be meaningful and worthwhile complete the report. (KB)
Families and Work Institute, 267 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016. Tel: 212-465-2044; Fax: 212-465-8637; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Parents; Policymakers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: AT&T Foundation, New York, NY.; Johnson & Johnson Baby Products Co., Skillman, NJ.; Hallmark Corporate Foundation, Omaha, NE.; Texas Instruments, Inc., Dallas.; Allstate Insurance Co., Northbrook, IL.
Authoring Institution: Families and Work Inst., New York, NY.