Why Your Voice is Important in Parent Leadership Activities:
Would you like to live in a community where children and youth with mental health challenges and their families are safe & welcomed, with access to needed services and supports?
Why not join others to help make this a reality?
If you are interested in increasing your leadership skills we may have an opportunity for you.
Each year ACMH brings together groups of committed parents who want to improve their leadership skills and make a difference for families who have children with mental health challenges.
Parent leadership camps are a place where you can learn new skills, make new connections, and learn to use your real life experience as a tool for influencing the changes you would like to see in your community.
The target audience for ACMH’s leadership opportunities are parents of children with severe emotional disorders who want to make a difference for children and families.
Parent Leadership Training Purpose:
The purpose of ACMH’s leadership camps & series is to help parents/caregivers gain information, skills and networking opportunities needed to impact current policy and practice related to children’s mental health.
What Types of Training is Provided?
All trainings include hands on experience in building or strengthening essential leadership skills including communication and advocacy skills and tips for how & when to use your personal experience to support change. Participants also learn how to build successful parent professional partnerships. In addition parents will explore ideas about what they might do to make a difference and learn action-planning strategies to meet their goals.
Trainings are designed to prepare participants for leadership roles related to children’s mental health and often include overviews of the public mental health, juvenile justice and education systems, identification of key concerns in these systems, and the development of team and/or individual action plans. Additionally, there is a focus family involvement within those systems.
ACMH leadership camps can be customized and topics vary according to length of the camp or local needs and interests.
Additional topics and descriptions from previous ACMH leadership camps and a twelve-week series are listed below to give you an idea for what might be possible.
Leadership Camps for Parents Involved in System of Care – Topics Descriptions
Parents As Resources: Parents/caregivers bring unique expertise to all aspects of System of Care. Learn what, when, how, why and where to use your expertise as a family member; effective communication skills; the importance of practicing self-care; why letting your emotional responses guide your decisions can lead to unexpected consequences; and how to tell your story for specific audiences. You will also learn skills to serve on decision-making bodies & workgroups.
System of Care:Learn the basics of System of Care and why your voice is so important for success! We will also explore leadership opportunities and roles & responsibilities of families in a System of Care.
Strategic Relationships:Parents and professionals working together has the power to produce benefits far beyond System of Care! Learn how to effectively partner with professionals to create change.
Understanding Child Serving Systems and How To Navigate Them: Learn the basics of child and family serving systems including: what each system has to offer; how systems make decisions; and what mandates they have to follow around youth and their families.
Advocating for Change – Parents As Change Agents: Learn how your voice can make a difference or change someone’s opinion or decision. Develop Leadership Skills and learn to embrace your role as a leader and as an agent for change!
Twelve- Week Family Leadership Series:
ACMH has also partnered with local communities to provide leadership series for interested families in their community. The following is a draft outline of what might be included in a several week series:
Introduction/ Who is ACMH/Why we do this training
Training Overview: Purpose, Goals & Objectives
Expectations & Requirements
Introduction Activity ~ Who Am I?
Creation of Group Norms
Becoming a Successful Family Leader ~ How to Believe It & Achieve It!
Session 2 ~ Parent Leadership
Leadership: Discuss, Describe & Define
History of the Family Movement
The Critical Role of Family Leaders in Systems Change
Setting Yourself Up for Success ~ Identifying Important Skills for Family Leaders
Session 3 ~ SOC 101
What System of Care Is & What it is Not
System of Care Basics: Values, Principals, Etc..
Parents as Resources in SOC
Leadership Roles For Families in Systems of Care
Who am I & Who do I Want to Be When Wearing my Family Leader Hat?
How to Be Credible, Successful & Professional!
Session 4 ~ Sharing Your Family’s Journey to Help Create Positive Systems Change
Successfully Sharing Your Story/Experience to Help Create Change
Benefits & Drawbacks to Sharing Your Story
When, Why and How to Share Your Story, Including Organizing Your Message
Sharing Your Story ~ Wrap Up & Practice
Session 5 ~ Communication Skills for Family Leaders
Asking Clarifying Questions
Role Playing & Practice
Session 6 ~ Additional Essential Skills for Family Leaders
Understanding Yourself, Your Values & Your Vision
Identifying & Setting Personal Boundaries
Managing Your Emotions
The Importance of Self Care for Family Leaders
Session 7: Parent Professional Partnerships
How to Develop Relationships and Create Successful Partnerships
Benefits of Strong Parent/Professional Partnerships
Barriers Facing Family Leaders
Strategies to Successfully Navigate Barriers
Session 8: Engaging Community Conversations with Systems Partners
Basic Overview of Community Family Serving Systems
Tips to Successfully Navigating Each Individual System
Importance of Family Voice & Involvement
Planning for Community Partner Family Information Exchange Meetings
Who do we want to meet with?
What do we want to know and what specific questions will we ask?
Session 9: System Partner Listening Sessions/Meetings
Community Mental Health
Others local partners
Session 10: Families Advocating for Change:
3 Types of Advocacy
Opportunities and Venues for Advocacy
Simple Action Plan for Advocacy
Embracing Your Role as a Family Leader
Potential Barriers & Strategies to Navigate Barriers
Session 11: Participating on Decision Making Boards & Committees:
Benefits of Family Participation
Group Functions/Processes/Board Member Roles /Parliamentary Procedure
How to be an Effective Board or Committee Member
What Family Leaders Should Consider before Agreeing to Participate
Session 12: Understanding & Managing Conflict
Causes of Conflict
Benefits & Negative Effects of Conflict
Conflict Response Styles
Conflict Communication Tips
Simple Steps To Resolve Conflict
Week 13 – Graduation Celebration!
If you are interested in attending one of ACMH’s leadership opportunities or bringing a leadership series to your community, contact the ACMH Education Coordinator today!