Episode 27: Prevention: The Power of the Parents' Voice
“Because what is the whole goal of an agency in the first place? The goal is to be able to help the family. I mean, if they’re an agency that deals with family - whether it’s through Child Welfare or whether it’s through foster care and - it’s really that goal is that ‘I’m there for the family’. And what better way to help the family than empower the parent to have an equal partner voice?”
—Bruce Bynum, member, FRIENDS Parent Advisory Council
Parents with a history of lived child welfare, adoption and foster care experience can be valuable resources for agencies and practitioners when developing or reviewing systems and programs. The parent experience also can help communicate the importance and impact of services when approaching legislators and policy makers.
There is a power to the parents’ stories: putting a relatable face on the impacts child welfare services can have on families. Understanding the impacts can support greater quality improvement, remove barriers, and help agencies shift to a family-centered approach. The FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention established a Parent Advisory Council to provide program direction and guidance. Council members share their experience through a variety of touchpoints to practitioners, legislators, and families.
In 'The Power of the Parents’ Voice' three members of the Parent Advisory Council provide guidance for agencies regarding:
- Ways to identify and engage parents to share their voice and experience
- How to involve parents across the entire system to improve outcomes
- The biggest ‘a-ha’ moments practitioners have when hearing parent’s stories for the first time
This episode features a conversation with the following members of the Parent Advisory Council:
- Sam Blue, Region 7 (Missouri)
- Bruce Bynum, Region 6 (Texas)
- Jessica Diel, Region 7 (Missouri)