Work Group Report: Family Support Networks


The session began with a discussion of current family support networking efforts. Family Resource Coalition of America (FRCA) presented information about their research of statewide family support networks. FRCA grouped typical networking activities into three groups:

FRCA then shared their current efforts to support family support networking efforts.

The group broke into five working groups to 1) discuss current efforts to network in the family support field as well as resources available to support networking efforts, and 2) brainstorm about additional work and/or resourccs needed to facilitate networking. Listed below is the additional work recommended by each group.

Programming and Evaluation

Training and Technical Assistance

State/Federal Advocacy Efforts

Family Support Collaborative Efforts

Parent Involvement and Leadership

Next Steps and Commitments

The group closed by discussing the next steps needed to support networking efforts, and participants made commitments to move the process forward.

Next Steps Commitments Made
Notifications of federal legislation
  • FRCA: include legislation updates in publications, Reports
  • Nadine Schwab: Talk to National Alliance of Children's Trust Funds
  • FRCA: Send Parent Advocacy fact sheet to participants
Notifications of state and local legislation
  • WI Children's trust fund will take the lead to make this happen
  • Connect agencies via e-mail or phone tree
  • Agencies: act on legislative updates
  • Agencies: Encourage parents to participate in the political process, through efforts such as:
    • Participating in voter registration
    • Taking people to polling places
    • Teaching parents how to be politically involved
  • Agencies: Collaborate with Head Start agencies who do parent advocacy training
Identify strongest leaders
  • Use Parents Anonymous as a model
  • FRCA: Make connections with national groups for networking efforts, such as Head Start, National Urban League, disabilities, etc.
  • FRCA: Make effort to broadcast our work to a larger audience
  • Agencies: Send to FRCA a list of organizations that should be linked to family support networking efforts
Build on databases
  • Agencies: Send to FRCA the names of trainers who could be part of a national database of trainers
  • Agencies: Send to FRCA contact information for programs that should be part of a national database of family support programs
  • FRCA: Send multiple copies of program survey to agencies in the work group
Increase capacity of local programs
  • Donna: Write up the process her agency used to encourage parents to volunteer to use the web on behalf of the program
  • FRCA: Distribute Donna's write-up
Advocate for resources to fund efforts, write grant to begin national collaboration efforts
  • FRCA: Send letter to share information
  • FRCA: Create a list for interested group members
Connect family support to welfare reform movement
  • FRCA: Send multiple copies of welfare reform program survey to agencies in work group
  • Agencies: Distribute survey to other family support programs
Disseminate information as broadly as possible
  • Agencies: Share information from conference with associates and community
  • FRCA: Consider costs of pubs/membership and reaching out to non-members
  • FRCA: Consider putting materials in libraries so communities can access them
Continue to stay connected as a group
  • FRCA: Create and distribute a mailing list of all programs at the session

Copyright © 1998 [author(s)].

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University of Wisconsin-Madison