Conversations that nurture the spirit of the family
Connecting, Conversing, Transforming
The Be Strong Families Parent Café program is a nationally recognized peer-to-peer learning process to keep children safe and families strong. Parents and caregivers create safe spaces to explore their strengths and learn from themselves and each other how to use the Strengthening Families Protective Factors with their loved ones. At a café, parents and caregivers talk about the challenges and victories of raising a family. Through individual self-reflection and conversations with others, participants explore their strengths and create strategies from their own wisdom and experiences to help strengthen their families. The experience is empowering, a shift from listening to “experts” to drawing on the wealth of knowledge already in the room.
90by30 is also implementing Be Strong’s “A More Perfect Union” cafés, which invite conversations that connect social justice and parenting. These cafés are also organized around the Protective Factors and allow parents to explore the broader context for parenting in a complicated and often unjust world.
In 2021, the Eugene and Springfield teams brought online Parent Cafés to Lane County. Thanks to partnerships with United Way of Lane County and Head Start of Lane County, we were able to adapt to the pandemic by shifting our plans from in-person events to virtual conversations. Cafés are English/Spanish bilingual events and ASL translation is available upon request. In early 2022, we received the LaneKids Parent Education grant, which invests in local agencies to implement evidence-based parenting education series for parents with kids ages 0-6. The grant will help fund cafés through 2022, as well as training and outreach to make café participation more inclusive.
If you’d like to get involved with Parent Cafés, email email@example.com. We’re looking for people to help organize cafés; to be table hosts during the conversations; and, when in-person events are possible, to help with childcare and other aspects of running a café.
What is a Parent Café?
Cafés are structured discussions that use the principles of adult learning and family support. They are highly sustainable with training reinforcement, institutional support, and a commitment to an approach that engages and affirms parents as leaders. Participants leave Parent Cafés feeling inspired, energized, and excited to put into practice what they’ve learned.