How to Offer Parents Forever™ in Person in Your Community
Is your agency or organization thinking about offering a Parents Forever™ program in your community? If so, you probably have questions about program content and benefits, as well as how to start and sustain a program. Here are some answers — and ways to get answers — to those questions.
Even if you have offered a Parents Forever™ program in your community before, we recommend reviewing the following information because Extension has updated the process for becoming an authorized provider of the Parents Forever™ program, as well as increased support for offering in-person classes.
Make a Decision
- Before deciding whether offering an in-person Parents Forever™ class is a good idea for your community, you need to do some research. Begin by visiting the Start Teaching Parents Forever™ and Frequently Asked Questions by Professionals pages of the Parents Forever™ website. Next, participate in the Parents Forever™ Introductory Webinar to get an overview of the curriculum and the process for starting an in-person program. Register for this free, one-hour webinar on the introductory webinar page, which also includes a list of upcoming webinar dates. Note: Current facilitators and the program coordinator (if applicable) are required to participate in the webinar, so arrange for candidates for these positions to register and join the webinar, too.
- Determine whether Parents Forever™ is right for you, your organization, and your community. Obtain necessary internal approvals to partner with Extension and become an “authorized provider” of an in-person program.
Launch the Program
If you decide to implement a Parents Forever™ program, take the following steps to get things going.
- Identify facilitators and, if applicable, a program coordinator.
- Arrange for facilitators and, if applicable, your program coordinator, to attend the Parents Forever™ Facilitator Training. In-person training will be offered at selected Minnesota locations in Fall 2014, and also will be available online later in the year. There is a $20 fee for the six-hour, in-person training. Remember that the introductory webinar is a prerequisite for participating in the training, so all facilitators should have completed the webinar earlier.
- Note that an annual agreement for your organization to offer Parents Forever™ will be distributed during the in-person Parents Forever™ Facilitator Training. Obtain a signature from your organization’s leadership on the agreement and submit the signed document to the Parents Forever™ administrative office at the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development.
- Pay the $299 fee to access the Parents Forever™ Facilitator Website, which will enable you to download and print the complete Parents Forever™ curriculum.
- Review the curriculum and decide if you will conduct the entire course in one day or break it into two or more class sessions.
- Handle logistics, including reserving space, for hosting your first Parents Forever™ class or class series.
- Set your class registration fee and reduced fee amounts, following the established guidelines described on the Parents Forever™ Facilitator Website.
- Submit class dates, times, and location to the Parents Forever™ administrative office.
- Publicize the class. Visit the Parents Forever™ Facilitator Website and download promotional tips and tools, including brochure templates, for marketing the class.
- Assemble needed materials, including local resource lists for your class or class series.
- Review your registration list, and order the Parents Forever™ Parent Handbook for each participant. (The new version of this parent handbook will be available by September 30, 2014.)
- Facilitate your class or class series.
Follow Up After Hosting a Class
- Submit your class demographic and evaluation data to the Parents Forever™ administrative office within a week of concluding your class or class series.
- Connect with your designated Parents Forever™ Regional Coordinator to discuss what went well and any additional information or resources you might need before offering the class again.
- Create a plan for sustaining and continuing to market your Parents Forever™ program. Use the promotional tips and tools on the Parents Forever™ Facilitator Website.
- Plan future classes; remember to submit new class dates to the Parents Forever™ administrative office.
- Continue to submit class demographic and evaluation data to the Parents Forever™ administrative office within a week of concluding each class.
- Notify the Parents Forever™ administrative office of any program staff changes and ensure that all new facilitators and program coordinators complete the required training.
- Develop relationships with local partners, such as judges, attorneys, representatives of organizations serving families, or any other individuals who can refer parents to your class.
- Stay connected to others in the Parents Forever™ Community of Practice and to your designated Parents Forever Regional Coordinator to allow for continuous improvement of the program.
Facilitators should do the following each year:
- Complete the annual renewal survey to determine future needs.
- Participate in a minimum of one hour of professional development training related to the topic of family transition. New webinars will be offered every other month and completed webinars will be archived on the Parents Forever™ Facilitator Website.
- Participate in the Parents Forever™ Introductory Webinar, which will be updated and offered periodically throughout the year. Check the webinar website regularly for new dates.
- Use the annual evaluation summary report you receive from the Parents Forever™ administrative office to share successes with your organization, funders, and community partners.
- Remember to sign and submit your annual agreement each year you offer the program.
Please note, no one other than the Parents Forever™ administrative office is authorized to offer any portion of Parents Forever™ online.
Attending the Parents Forever™ Introductory Webinar will most likely answer any questions you may have. However, if you’re still wondering about something, submit your questions to Contact Us, and someone will get back to you promptly.
Parents Forever™ Introductory Webinar — Free, one-hour online training that provides an overview of the program and next steps for partnering with Extension as an authorized provider. The latest webinar covers revisions in the 2014 curriculum and information about greater support for in-person programs.
Parents Forever™ Facilitator Training — Six-hour training required for all Parents Forever™ facilitators. The training covers foundational research and theory, curriculum nuts and bolts, how to start and succeed with a program, available resources and support, and steps for partnership with Extension. See the website for the latest schedule of in-person training sessions planned throughout Minnesota. Cost is $20. Online training will be available later this year.
Frequently Asked Questions by Professionals — Answers to all your questions about starting, sustaining, and teaching a Parents Forever™ course.