Retreat: Creating a Caring Community for Children

Issues affecting children. Milestones in child and family development.

GOAL: Development of a parent group, begin understanding of when and
how a community cares for children.


Class 1: Thriving with Diversity in the Group Process

What do we look like now? What will Americans look like in the future?
What are the strengths of separateness and integration?

GOAL: To acquire knowledge regarding diversity, ethnic, class and
race differences.


Class 2: The Change Process

A look at change within our own experience. The tools we can use to
change the environment.

GOAL: To understand what creates change within self, family and community.


Class 3: Parents as Change Agents

How do our own experiences in family life influence our notion of the right
to be a parent leader? What is our own self-image?

GOAL: To help parents perceive themselves as change agents and to
understand obstacles to leadership.


Class 4: How to Define a Problem and Work Toward a Solution

A look at community needs from the parent perspective.

GOAL: To begin working through problems with developed strategy and
conflict resolution skills.


Class 5: The Intentional Use of Language

What are forms of communication and why do they matter? Active Listening
and constructive ways to make a point.

GOAL: To understand the importance of using language to create a framework and
express viewpoints.


Class 6: Learning How a Community Works

How to use and maximize community resources. Who has the resource information?
How do community meetings work?

GOAL: To begin mapping communities with increased understanding of
assets, resources and communication flow.


Class 7: How Local Systems Work and How to Interact With Them

Who makes the decisions in the city, in the schools, at the library?
How do policies develop?

GOAL: To increase awareness of the structure of local institutions and
systems through attention to budget, policy and communication.


Class 8: Networks

How to think about who should become part of the change effort. How to
expand your partners.

GOAL: To further access goals for children and enable partners to reach goals.


Class 9: The Power of the Media and How to Use it

How to use social media and traditional media. Parents as messengers for children.

GOAL: To increase understanding of all forms of media, how they work
and how to access them.


Class 10: Using Your Voice

How to speak publicly. How to present public statements with success.

GOAL: To bolster confidence, self awareness and the impact of self presentation.


Class 11: The Life Cycle of the Child and the Functions of the Family

How does the life cycle of the child intersect with the life cycle of the family
and family functions?

GOAL: A beginning understanding of family function, family structure and
child development.


Class 12: Social and Economic Trends Affecting Children and Families

How to understand the demographic, economic and social trends. What are the assets
and needs of children and families in our region?

GOAL: An understanding of social, economic and demographic factors impacting child
health, learning, safety and care-giving.


Class 13: What is Public Policy?

A look at the role of government in democracy, the meaning of policy, types of policy
and how policy happens.

GOAL: An understanding of public policy as a vehicle for democracy, citizen input and
change for children.


Class 14: How the State Works

A look at state government – structure, communications, resources, policy
impact and governance.

GOAL: An understanding of how government can be utilized by citizens
to effect dialogue and change for the public good.


Class 15: How a City Works

A look at town and city structures, policies and resources.

GOAL: An understanding of how parents can interface with elected officials,
city departments and school boards to communicate and effect change for children.


Class 16: How do we Understand the Law

An overview of children’s law to assess the impact of state and federal code in
protecting and enhancing the lives of children.

GOAL: Demystification of law, with increased comfort reading children’s law.


Class 17: Budgets

From Wallets to State – It’s all Money and Priorities
An introduction to budget design and analysis within state, city and schools.

GOAL: Increased comfort level with fiscal analysis of children’s policy and programs.


Class 18: Evaluation, Outcomes and Accountability

An overview of goals in policy and program to improve outcomes and public
accountability. What is an outcome measure, a benchmark, a result?

GOAL: A beginning understanding of benchmarks and longitudinal tools.


Class 19: The Magic of the Unexpected: Forming New Alliances

Forging new alliances and expanding partnerships to create broad impact for children.

GOAL: An increased understanding of the dynamics of policy change, coalition-
building and social climate.


Class 20: Language: Packaging and Moving Agendas

How to design initiatives: how to clarify goal, purpose, outcomes with vigor, art and

GOAL: Improved understanding of media and language and its impact; and the
connection between language and clarity of goal and constituency.