Parent Cafés are an adaptation of the World Café process which encourages deep self-reflection and peer-to-peer learning. Parent Cafés are a way to bring the Strengthening Families™ researched-based protective factors to parents and are one part of a larger strategy to encourage parent engagement and leadership. Goals of a Café include:
- Educating parents about the research-based Protective Factors that keep families strong, so that they can take responsibility for incorporating these protective factors in their families
- Building the research-based protective factors as parents are learning about them
- Promoting positive relationships between parents and those who provide early childhood or family strengthening programs
- Encouraging and developing parent leaders by training parents to take meaningful roles in Parent Cafés in the community
Parent Cafés are designed to strengthen families from the inside out. The process relies on parent facilitators who lead peer-to-peer learning using several simple activities including building a sense of community, a theme targeted around the five Strengthening Families™ protective factors, one-on-one discussions to practice listening skills, café conversations, commitments made to ourselves, debriefing on what we learned, and reflection on the method and manner of delivery.
Parent Cafés are three rounds of two and one half hour sessions with one half hour meal or snack, followed by two hours of parent activities built around a comfortable, non-instructional format that is open, non-judgmental, and uses a strengths-based approach to networking and sharing. Parent Cafés include child care in a separate area. After three sessions, parents attending will have a comprehensive understanding of the resiliency and protective factors needed to be the best parent they can be.
Community Partnership is hosting Parent Cafés across Greene County, due to incredible support from Missouri Children’s Trust Fund. For a list of current Cafés, click here.