Congratulations! You have been elected to the Policy Council. Let's explore what it's like to be a member.
Read the scenario below.
Yvonne is excited to attend her first Policy Council meeting. Her family service worker, Maria, has explained what to expect. She also offered to attend Yvonne's first meeting with her. She introduced Yvonne to Susan, a former parent member. Susan agreed to become her mentor and answer any questions.
At the first meeting, the Policy Council chairperson welcomes new members. Maria introduces Yvonne to the group. During the meeting, a policy document is handed out for review. It will be voted on at the next meeting.
The next morning, Yvonne calls Susan to ask about the policy document. She tells Susan she does not understand what she needs to vote on. She felt too shy to ask questions at the meeting. Susan explains the proposed policy change and why it is being discussed. Yvonne now understands the proposal and the different opinions to consider. Yvonne feels more confident about speaking up at the next meeting.
Like Yvonne, many parents have questions after they join the Policy Council. See some common questions below. You may have other questions. Every program is unique. Be sure to talk with program staff about specific questions you have.
Common Questions About Serving on the Policy Council
What happens after the Policy Council training if I am still not sure what to do?
You can connect with program leadership for more support. Go to the program director, family services manager, or parent engagement coordinator to talk about your questions and concerns. Work with a staff member to discover together how you can feel successful and confident as a member of the Policy Council.
Can I make suggestions about proposed policies?
As a Policy Council member, you can make suggestions or ask questions about any matters that are brought to the Council. It is your right and responsibility as a Council member to help with decision-making. Ask program staff for more information if you need it. You can also ask the Policy Council to delay a vote while you learn more.
Take a moment to reflect on each question:
- What questions or concerns do you have about serving on the Policy Council?
- Who can you talk with to help answer your questions?
- What else can your program do to help as you serve as a Policy Council member?
- What is the Policy Council?
- Joining the Policy Council
- Leaving the Policy Council
- Download the PDF for All Tip Sheets
« Go to Head Start Policy Council Series
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Parent, Family and Community Engagement
Last Updated: September 26, 2022