Family Leadership


A Family Leader is someone who has personal experience in using resources or services to strengthen his or her family and speaks and acts from their perspective as a family member. This person might serve as a role model or advocate for other families, sit on an advisory board, belong to a peer review team, testify at public hearings, or lead in other ways. – Parents Anonymous Inc.


Telling Stories to Impact Policy Change

An important part of being a family leader is using your personal experiences to communicate with decision makers including elected officials.  Below are resources to help you tell your story to impact changes in services, programs and policies.


Opportunities to Serve

State Level Committees and Councils That Include Families as Members– This is list of opportunities for families to participate on the state level as a member of a committee, council or board that focuses on disabilities, families, children and/or long term supports.

Opportunities to Learn

Wisconsin Family Leadership Resources – a list of resources and activities that supports families interested in building their leadership skills. Advocacy for Change – A Family Voices Leadership Institute a one day advocacy event held every March in Madison. Participants learn about policy issues, practice their message to legislators and then meet with elected officials. In 2019, Advocacy for Change will be held in early March. This event is free to participants and all meals and lodging are paid for by Family Voices of Wisconsin. Partners in Policymaking – a six-session advocacy and systems change training program designed to develop a group of future leaders across the state, who are able to work with legislators and communities on policies and initiatives related to full inclusion of people with disabilities. Parents In Partnership – a statewide program in which a group of parents and other caregivers meet together five times during the year to: share their family stories, challenges, joys and triumphs of raising their children. Parent to Parent of Wisconsin Support Parent Training  – P2P hosts one-day training sessions for parents/family members to become a Support Parent. Support Parents are matched with families who have a child with similar needs or live in the same region of the state and relationships can be short term (1 or 2 calls) or longer term. Serving on Groups that Make Decisions – online and telephone training and resources for families interested in serving on groups or committees ** To learn about upcoming training sessions and conferences go to the DPI Special Education Calendar and under audience check “families and community”

Grant Opportunities

Community-Opportunity-Reciprocity-Enjoyment (CORE) grants from BPDD

Leadership Tools and Resources to Learn More

Family Voices Newsletter on Family Leadership – provides a description of leadership roles and resources for how to learn more. Advisory Roles Family Members Can Play | Clases de Consejeros los Padres pueden ser Benefits of Families as Advisors  | El Beneficio de familias como Concejales