About the program and Application

Family Voices of Minnesota and the University of Missouri Institute for Human Development, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities are offering a Family Leadership Institute for families raising children with extra needs and disabilities.

This program is designed for families who are interested in enhancing their leadership skills. Participants will build their core competencies in family advocacy to be successful as family leaders partnering to make change.  This is professional development for family leaders. 

This Family Leadership Institute will include six sessions, held monthly from October 2021 to April 2022 (no formal December meeting)

Deadline for this application is Friday, October 8, 2021.

Core Competency modules include:
  • Introduction to Family Leadership
  • Communication
  • Collaboration, Partnerships and Relationships
  • Conflict Resolution, Decision Making, and Problem Solving
  • Cultural Competence and Family Dynamics
  • Family-Centered Care
The Importance of Family Leadership: Family Leaders As Colleagues At the Table
The past three decades has seen a growing recognition of the need to involve families as partners. Family involvement is critical in policy development and in the planning and delivery of services for children and special populations at the national, state, and local levels. Current policies in health and education promote, and at times mandate, collaboration and partnership between professionals and family members. Federal and state policy-makers and systems recognize the critical role of parent and family leaders in transforming and sustaining services and supports that better serve everyone.

Families must be prepared to serve in these roles, as a voice for their own family, but also as a collective voice that advocates for the benefit of all families. Systems that are family-centered and family-driven require strong, well-prepared family leaders. Families are vital colleagues at all levels of policy development. Families provide a perspective critical to the successful development of effective policies and practices. Families can identify gaps while suggesting possible solutions. Communities are strengthened when the voice of the family is heard and valued. 

Each family’s experience and perspective are unique, but there are core skills or competencies that better enable them to be strong leaders and a collective voice for all families. Families serving in leadership roles are enhanced by the development of specific skill sets, knowledge, values, and personal qualities.

Sessions run 12:00pm to 1:30pm Central Time on the following dates:
  • October 12, 2021
  • November 09, 2021
  • January 11, 2022
  • February 8, 2022
  • March 8, 2022 and,
  • April 5, 2022
Parents who fully participate in each session will receive a stipend upon completion of the Leadership Institute.

If you are interested, please complete this application, by Friday, October 8, 2021.  For more information, please contact Carolyn Allshouse: Carolyn@familyvoicesmn.org or 612-440-1609. 

This program is made possible with a grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Maternal Child Health Bureau.

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* 1. Please share your name and contact information

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* 2. What do you hope to gain or accomplish from participating in the Family Leadership Institute?

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* 3. Tell us a little about your family and your experiences with your child.

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* 4. Please describe any previous leadership training experiences you have related to your child with special health care needs and/or disabilities, such as advisory committees or task forces.

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* 5. What is one issue you are facing with your child that you hope this leadership institute will help you address?

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* 6. I am able to participate in all webinars of the Family Leadership Institute; on the following days and times:
  • October 12, 2021: 12:00-1:30
  • November 09, 2021: 12:00-1:30
  • January 11, 2022:12:00-1:30
  • February 08, 2022: 12:00-1:30
  • March 08, 2022: 12:00-1:30
  • April 05, 2022: 12:00 - 1:30

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* 7. How did you learn about this program?  Is there any additional information you would like share?

For additional information please contact Carolyn Allshouse: Carolyn@familyvoicesmn.org or 612-440-1609.