Shared Leadership® in Action Program

Since 1969, Parents Anonymous® Inc. has modeled Shared Leadership® in its programs and its organizational structure. Individual parents and staff report the tremendous positive impact on their families and careers when they work in Shared Leadership®. Based on proven effective Shared Leadership® strategies, Parents Anonymous® Inc. offers training, technical assistance, publications, research assistance and other supports to public and private agencies, communities, and programs through the Shared Leadership® in Action Program.

Parents Anonymous® Inc. developed this innovative research-based model to help parents and staff learn how to effectively work together in Shared Leadership®. All aspects of the program can be customized to meet specific needs of public and private agencies and communities. Through participation in this program, parents gain new leadership skills and opportunities and staff learn to more effectively partner with parents. The Shared Leadership® in Action Program has 7 key components. Parents Anonymous® Inc. provides each of these components separately or as a total program for interested agencies and communities.

For me, the Parents Anonymous® Inc. training and technical assistance made all the difference in the world. Having seasoned experts who I could talk to and plan with was invaluable.
– Parent

Public Agency Staff member

1. Assessment and Planning
The first step in implementing Shared Leadership® strategies is identifying existing strengths and barriers for Parent Leaders, staff and organizations. Parents Anonymous® Inc. provides assessment tools to: (1) help parents identify their strengths and any areas that might become barriers to their work as Parent Leaders; and (2) help staff assess personal and organizational readiness to work in partnership with parents on Shared Leadership® activities. After completing these assessments, Parent Leaders and staff can develop a realistic plan for expanding their work in Shared Leadership®. This plan should include action steps to be taken, key individuals and groups to be involved, resources needed and a timeline for completion.

2. Development of Organizational Structures to Support Shared Leadership® Strategies
When implementing new Shared Leadership® strategies, it is very important to have a structured avenue for Parent Leaders and staff to work together, share information, review and revise plans, receive training and create opportunities for Shared Leadership®. Many organizations create Shared Leadership® Task Forces, Parent Leadership Teams or other structures to support Parent Leaders and staff in their work together. These entities meet regularly and provide a foundation for lasting change.

3. Shared Leadership® in Action Training Institute
Parents Anonymous® Inc. provides a series of trainings including the Shared Leadership® in Action training which increases the knowledge, skills and abilities of participants to engage in Shared Leadership® activities. The Shared Leadership® in Action training focuses on roles for Parent Leaders, critical elements in Shared Leadership® and strategies for recruiting, selecting and supporting Parent Leaders. This training incorporates Parents Anonymous® Inc. findings from national research on effective leadership practices of parents. Parent Leader and staff trainers facilitate discussion among participants regarding their expectations, Shared Leadership® goals and needs for support. Participants create Shared Leadership® Plans to guide their efforts for the six-month period following the initial training. A Shared Leadership® in Action: Guidebook for Participants is given to each attendee and becomes an ongoing reference tool.

4. On-going Technical Assistance
Parents Anonymous® Inc. provides technical assistance to support staff and Parent Leaders in all aspects of implementing Shared Leadership® strategies. This may include additional leadership development trainings, assistance in identifying roles for Parent Leaders, development of new written role descriptions, creation of structures such as Parent Advisory Councils and other areas of importance related to Shared Leadership®.

5. Supports for Parent Leaders and Staff
Throughout all aspects of the Shared Leadership® in Action Program, Parents Anonymous® Inc. works with staff and Parent Leaders to identify and build on strengths and remove barriers so that parents can have more active roles and stronger voices. Parent Leaders and staff recommend needed supports to allow full engagement in Shared Leadership® activities.

6. On-going Recruitment
In order to maintain an active group of Parent Leaders and staff working in Shared Leadership®, it is important to consistently engage in recruitment activities. Parents Anonymous® Inc. assists organizations in developing and implementing effective outreach materials and strategies.

7. Evaluation
Parents Anonymous® Inc. has developed tools and models for evaluating the results of the Shared Leadership® activities. Standardized measurements are used to determine the increase in knowledge, skills and abilities among Parent Leaders and staff who participate in the Shared Leadership® in Action trainings. Other tools are used to track growth in Shared Leadership activities and changes in attitudes and perceptions.

As a result of this program, parents and staff have created positive changes in their communities by:

  • Developing new attitudes, behaviors and trust leading to stronger partnerships
  • Identifying meaningful leadership roles for parents
  • Forming organizational structures, such as Shared Leadership® Task Forces, for staff and Parent Leaders to work together to implement and support a wide range of opportunities for Shared Leadership®
  • Creating organizational cultures with resources to support roles for Parent Leaders
  • Removing barriers to partnering with parents
  • Supporting and recognizing parents in advocacy roles
  • Encouraging Parent Leaders to serve as role models and mentors to other parents
  • Two Parents Anonymous® Inc. publications, Shared Leadership® in Action: Trainer’s Manual and Shared Leadership® in Action: Guidebook for Participants are valuable resources for organizations and individuals interested in providing Shared Leadership® training to staff and Parent Leaders. Both publications are available in English and Spanish. This innovative model requires training teams that consist of both parents and staff and incorporates the latest research on Shared Leadership®.

For more information about Parent Leadership and Shared Leadership® Training and Technical Assistance, including the Shared Leadership® in Action Program, contact us