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.
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.
Engaging Parents as Advocates and Leaders Webinar Series
In this webinar series, learn best practices to engage families who are interested in developing their leadership skills.
Head Start Policy Council Series
In this series, learn how to support parents serving on your program’s Policy Council. Find tip sheets to help parents better understand how to join, ways to serve, and when to leave the Policy Council.
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.
Partnering with Families: Parent Leadership in Action
Watch this video to learn how one program encourages parents to build increased confidence and leadership skills. See how parents and staff develop trusting relationships and partner to build on family and child strengths. Find Policy Council examples where parents work with one another to shape programs and practices. Look for strategies that promote supportive family partnerships and strengthen parent-child relationships.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Parent, Family and Community Engagement
Last Updated: May 9, 2023