Advanced Parent Leadership Training


The Advanced Parent Leadership Training is an intensive one or two day training focused on skills and competences relevant to being parent leaders in their communities. This training is great for parents who are parent support partners, parent advocates, NAMI program volunteers, etc. and want the formal training to continue to develop and support their roles as leaders. It’s also great for parents who are ready to get involved and are looking for ways to do so.

Program Goals

The Advanced Parent Leadership Training focuses on skills and competences 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 that affects how families work with you
  • Listening and other communication skills
  • Setting boundaries
  • Cultural competency
  • Self Care

In return, parents are prepared to serve as parent support partners, parent representatives on committees, support group leaders, trainers, and in other leadership roles. It provides a context and validity to their roles.

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 as children) 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.

Who Leads the Program

The Advanced Parent Leadership Training is led by trained parents who have 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 furthering their professional development and learning of ways to give back. It is also offered to organizations and communities, as requested. It provides organizations and communities the opportunity to engage and support their parents.

Training is free and lodging is available for those traveling in. Child care and travel stipends are being available.

Upcoming Advanced Parent Leadership Training!


Our next training is scheduled for April 28-29th in Northern Virginia. To be considered, pleaser register here. All attendees must be confirmed.

Biological, adoptive, kinship and foster parents of children and youth with a mental health issue who wish to give back to their peers through the parent movement, are encouraged to apply.

For more information, contact Sarah Wilson at or 804-285-8264 x203.

How to Give Back

There is an opportunity 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 the Advanced Parent Leadership Training in their communities. For more information on either of these opportunities, contact Sarah at or 804-285-8264 x203.