Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
FFY 2011 Annual Progress and Services Report
connect active parents and organizations dedicated to furthering parent leadership
with state and local agencies working to fulfill mandates to increase parent
involvement and leadership in program development and oversight;
build connections among active parents for sharing and peer support;
connect any parent who needs help to appropriate resources and support; and
build the capacity of organizations, networks, initiatives, governing bodies to
partner effectively with family leaders.
With staff COFI certified, this project is ready to expand through subcontract with
Family Focus: Strengthening Families Illinois.
Menard County School and Community Task Force: Rural Family Services
Parents are involved in our program funded through this contract because helping
parents be successful is the main goal of our program. The expectation is that parents
impacted by the programs support this work through ongoing interaction in the parent
support groups, as well as direct support of their family’s services through the Child and
Family Team process, where applicable. In so much as the program is an advocacy
program seeking to help families be able to successfully advocate for themselves, when
parents are placed in a position to succeed, the program succeeds. Parents are involved
at all stages of the agency. In every group, parents are key participants. The program
expects that parents who become involved with the program exchange information with
others in the community. The hope is that those parents who are pleased with the
services will tell others about the program. In fact, this has been evidenced most
recently through the program’s parenting support groups, in which parents have
routinely brought other parents into the groups. They found that the support groups
were so beneficial to their families that they brought friend and neighbors to participate.
Parents are involved at every level of the decision making process with the cases - from
the parents who serve on our board of directors, the parents who are staff from
administration to the family advocates themselves. This quarter, the program has
continued to support a few parents who are now serving on their children’s education
success committees. In the upcoming quarter, the program will begin to transition these
parents to take on leadership roles with the organizations with which they coordinate
care and activities for their children over the summer.
The Families Aids and Children’s Network (FCAN)
FCAN identified parents to take leadership roles in the Parent Advisory Committee in
order to encourage parents to take on leadership roles within the program and
community. The program continues to recruit new parents into leadership roles by
inviting parents who receives services through FCAN’s Family Options Project to
become a Peer Counselor. FCAN has three Peer Counselors who provide outreach and
support to HIV-affected parents and caregivers who are interested in creating a
permanency plan for their children.
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