Leadership and Advocacy

Lived experience is a qualification that no amount of training or education can replace.  Advocacy and leadership from family members of children with complex medical issues is both needed and wanted by many groups at the local, state, and national level.

About Family Leadership

The Importance of the Family Voice
As a family member, it is important that your voice is heard at the table whenever anything having to do with services for children with disabilities is being discussed.

Tips for Emerging Family Leaders
Many families bring leadership skills to the table because of their experiences at work, other service in the
community, or simply the skills and traits that they have developed through life experiences.

How People with Complex Health and Social Needs Can Become Advocates for Change
By Mia Matthews, President/Executive Director, CHANs Promise Foundation; 2019-2020 National Consumer Scholar through the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs

Learning to Advocate

Learning to Advocate for All Children – As parents and caregivers, learning to effectively advocate for their children can be a difficult learning curve.  But once this is achieved, family leaders can reach out beyond their own family and advocate on behalf of many children who have special health care needs. While it may be daunting to step into that larger world, family voices are one of the most powerful forces for change in our society. Here are some tools and organizations that can help you step up your advocacy game.

The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) is a program of Washington Family Engagement. The PLTI is a 12- week online course that teaches parents, community members, and professionals working with families to understand systems and develop civic, leadership, and public speaking skills.

Other advocacy training and advocacy opportunities are available on our calendar.

Washington State Family Led Organizations

Dads M.O.V.E. – Seeks to provide every parent/caregiver (especially dads) with the tools, support, and training needed to be fully engaged in the recovery of their children.

Fathers Network – Works by connecting men with each other and with resources and information, by training men to tell their story and advocate for change, and by working to promote inclusion.

Washington Family Engagement – Fosters social transformation by supporting the development of multigenerational leaders from diverse backgrounds to become actively engaged in schools and communities in Washington State.

Washington State Community Connectors – WSCC seeks to continue representing and strengthening their family-led membership by providing opportunities to support and encourage collaboration efforts within the statewide network and with community and system partners.

Washington State Parent to Parent (P2P) – Helping Parent volunteers have completed a training program and are available to provide support and information to other parents.  All information is kept confidential.  There is no cost for this service.