Parent Leadership Development
State/Jurisdiction: New Jersey
Population: CYSHCN Families & Caregivers
Topic Area: Family & Youth Engagement Workforce Development
Parent Leadership Development enhances the capacity of parents of children and youth with special health care needs to advocate on behalf of their own and other children and families at local, state, and national levels to improve education, health, human services, and other policies affecting children, youth, and families. Through this program, the State Parent Leadership Development (SPAN) provides intensive leadership development, ongoing peer-to-peer support, and leadership practice opportunities for families; particularly underserved families. SPAN measures the effectiveness of parent leadership development activities through pre-post surveys of families, focus groups with participants, and documentation of the extent to which parents engage in leadership activities such as providing advocacy or parent-to-parent support to other parents, testifying at public hearings, and/or meeting with elected officials and state agency representatives. SPAN's relationship-based, "cultural reciprocity" approach seeks out, recognizes, and supports the leader in each family, providing the information and supports parents need and want.
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