Find Help, Find Hope!

Advanced Parent Leadership Training

Upcoming Advanced Parent Leadership Training!

Fall 2020 Advanced Parent Leadership Training will take place on Zoom, December 4th-6th. Training is free, and registration is required.  For more information, please contact Nicole Anjum at or (804) 991-9716. 

_APLT Online Flyer


The Advanced Parent Leadership Training is an intensive two day training focused on skills and competencies relevant to being parent leaders in local communities. This training is a good fit for parents who are at a point in their family journey to use their experiences effectively to support other parents as well as inform the system. Attendees include parent support partners, parent advocates, NAMI program volunteers, and anyone else who is looking for a more formal leadership training to develop or continue their learning as a leader. If you are ready to get involved and make a difference, this training is for you. 

Program Goals

The Advanced Parent Leadership Training focuses on skills and competencies relevant to being parent leaders in local communities, whether informally or formally. Content includes:

  • Facilitating groups, including content such as group dynamics, planning, troubleshooting, etc.
  • Navigating the system
  • Building partnerships with professionals and community leaders
  • Understanding the family journey and how it affects how families work with you
  • Listening and other communication skills
  • Setting boundaries
  • Cultural competency
  • Self-Care

In return, parents are prepared to take the next step in a variety of roles that best meet their values and passion. VFN works to support and connect parents with similar passions towards making a difference for families who are following in their footsteps. Various opportunities include leading support groups, educational courses, manning exhibitor tables, serving on various committees, planning VFN events, and other parent leadership modeling that provides context and validity to the role.

This training is meant for parents or primary caregivers who have children and youth with mental health needs (or parents whose adult children were diagnosed before the age of 18) and want to use their experiences to help other parents. More specifically:

  • They are employed as parent support partners or have the potential to serve in the role.
  • They are supporting parents in their communities on a volunteer basis and want the formal training to continue to develop and support their skills, or they have the potential to be leaders.
  • They are at a point to begin to give back and want foundational knowledge and support.

Who Leads the Program

The Advanced Parent Leadership Training is led by trained parents and caregivers who have or had a child or youth with mental health needs. They are also parents who are experienced advocates and leaders in their communities. They may lead a parent support group, work as a parent support partner, or facilitate one of our parent education programs. They are passionate about supporting parents in their journeys and providing parents with the opportunity to advocate for themselves and their families and to speak up for all families in Virginia.

What People are Saying about the Program

I enjoyed this and came away with a great level of confidence in doing what I do as a parent support partner.”

I truly believe in this training! It has been helpful in my personal and professional roles.”

How to Find the Program in Your Community

The Advanced Parent Leadership Training is offered at least once a year to parents who are interested in advancing their professional development and learning of ways to give back. It is also offered to organizations and communities upon request. The training also provides organizations and communities the opportunity to engage and support their parents.

Training is free and lodging is available for those traveling from outside of the area the training is being held. Child care and travel stipends are available.

How to Give Back

An opportunity is available for parents to be trained to facilitate the Advanced Parent Leadership Training in their community or for our local affiliates to offer the program in their community. In addition, we would welcome the opportunity to partner with local affiliates and organizations to host APLT in their communities. For more information on either of these opportunities, contact Nicole at or 804-991-9716.

Get Involved


Become a Member

Get in Touch