Family Engagement

Enhance Parents’ Advocacy and Leadership Skills

Head Start is a strong national model of family advocacy and leadership. Parents and families promote their children's education and development. They hold key roles in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Programs have always engaged families as advocates and leaders in their program activities, particularly through parent and policy committees and Policy Councils. Parents participate in decision-making, policy development, and activity organization in communities and states to improve children's safety, health, development, and learning experiences.

Explore this series to learn more about the family engagement outcome. Review the tip sheets with parents to help them enhance their advocacy and leadership skills at home, in programs, and their community.


Enhance Parents' Advocacy and Leadership Skills: A Guide for Head Start and Early Head Start Staff

Learn about the many ways program staff can support parents as advocates and leaders in early childhood programs and at home.

Advocacy and Leadership: Tips for Families

Everyday Leadership Skills

Review this tip sheet with parents to help them recognize the powerful leadership skills and abilities they already have and use in their everyday life. 

You Are a Leader

Explore research around and examples of parents using their advocacy and leadership skills to change their community, and the lives of their children and themselves, for the better.

Making Time for Leadership

Share with families the many ways they can make time to be an advocate and leader in their child's school, or in their community.

Additional Resources

Understanding Family Engagement Outcomes—Research to Practice Series: Families as Advocates and Leaders

Develop a deeper understanding of the PFCE Framework family engagement outcome, "Families as Advocates and Leaders." When families participate in decision-making, organizing, and policy development, they strengthen their own leadership and advocacy skills.

Topic:Family Engagement

Keywords:Family advocates

Resource Type: Article

National Centers: Parent, Family and Community Engagement

Last Updated: April 23, 2019