This past spring, Great Start Livingston Parent Coalition had the opportunity to be assessed in how well we are implementing the Strengthening Families format in our work and help us to set goals for our future work. The assessment was done by facilitators from ECIC (Early Childhood Investment Corporation) and was made up of the Great Start Parent Coalition Parent Liaisons and several core parent leaders from the parent coalition. (Nina, Shannon, Lizet and Carrie).
The Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework is a national research-based initiative that aims to develop and enhance five specific characteristics (called protective factors) that help keep families strong and promotes optimal development of children. These protective factors are: Parental Resilience, Social Connections, Concrete Supports in Times of Need, Knowledge or parenting and child development, and Social and emotional competence of children. To learn more about what the Strengthening Families Format is, Check out our webpage here.
During the process, we identified both the parent coalitions areas where we can improve as well as our areas of strength. We then looked at the evaluation results and created actionable goals that will guide our upcoming parent-led parent coalition work.
A few examples of areas the parent coalition sees as areas we can continue to improve on are:
- The GSPC (Great Start Parent Coalition) provides orientation for new members about the GSPC purpose, goals and objectives. *This is the area for improvement that our parents want to focus on for the upcoming year and have created a goal for.
- Parents have opportunities to share skills, talents and cultural traditions with children and other parents.
A few examples of strengths that came out from the assessment are:
- GSPC (Great Start Parent Coalition) supports families during challenging times
- GSPC provides opportunities for parents to learn about parenting and child develeopment
- GSPC reinforces that parents are the first teachers and key decision makers for their child’s lives
- GSPC supports members in serving as leaders and encourages parents to take on leadership roles. *This is the area of strength that our parents really want to focus on this upcoming year, and have created a goal for.
Overall, the experience was very positive and helpful. It was great to see so many parents excited about the parent coalition work and to learn what they want to work on first and where they want to put their efforts and focus this upcoming year!
If you want to get involved with the work of the parent coalition this upcoming year, please contact HollyKupec@LivingstonESA.org
The Parent Coalition is so important to Livingston County! We strive to meet these purposes:
- To provide a “customer perspective” for the Great Start Collaborative.
- Educate community members about the importance of Early Childhood.
- Support the Great Start Collaborative’s work toward achieving Michigan’s Early Childhood Outcomes.
- Provide information, education and resources to parents raising young children.