How can including parent voice change the trajectory of a baby involved in child welfare?
Why parent voice?
Parent leaders are parents with lived experience as parents who have navigated the reunification process within the child welfare system. Their focus is on incorporating the lived experience at the child welfare and court systems level. They serve as a parent voice to help shape the direction of services for themselves and other families.
They are individuals who have lived experience navigating the child welfare system as a parent, understand how the child welfare system works, have no open case and demonstrate their own personal and family stability.
Why parent leadership?
- Give voice to parent experience in the early childhood system
- Integrate parent voice into policy and practice
- Increase equity and decision-making power
A parent’s voice is what shapes every child. A parent’s ability to express emotion, show affection and actively support and nurture their child directly impacts the trajectory that child will follow.
I alone know my child’s needs, fears and insecurities. I am his greatest support and ally and I need to be his voice when he does not know yet how to use it. When parent voice is lifted, children succeed. It is our responsibility as a community to raise every child by listening to their most trusted protector. If we listen to parents more, we understand that every child has unique needs and are able to identify resources and supports to help families be successful.
Parent voice lifts the perspective of what families need to support their children. They speak to what’s missing, what can work better and what they need as parents to guide and provide for their children.
Resources created and informed by parent voice can shed light on the true day-to-day experience and struggles families face. Help me to be the best parent I can be, listen to what I need, my struggles, my fears, my strengths. Hear what my community needs, what they have and what is missing.
When a Parent feels supported by their community, their neighborhood, their school district, when the have access to what they need they can be the best versions of themselves. An empowered parent invests in their child’s future, a supported parent can be present for their child and a healing parent can heal their child.
Parent voice gives children a voice. Everyone comes from a different way of life, and parents sitting at the table can advocate for these different experiences. These experiences may include race, religion, history, region, background, health, nationality, economics and much more.