UACF Institute for Parent Leadership Training
With a generous grant from the California Endowment, United Advocates for Children and Families established The UACF Institute for Family and Youth Leadership. The Mission of the Institute is, “To promote the emotional, behavioral and social well-being of children, youth and families through transformational leadership.” It builds on natural community support systems that help families reconnect with existing local resources. The goal is to keep children and youth safe, healthy, at home, and in school and to allow parents to work and be financially secure.
Through the Institute’s work, families become empowered to coach, mentor, lead, and use their ‘lived experience’ to bring positive transformation to the mental health system. The Institute builds bridges between family members, mental health professionals, and the community-at-large to help children, youth, and their families dealing with mental illness.
The Institute works on research development, training, technical assistance, publications, and special projects. Regarding research development, the Institute utilizes evidence based practices, practice based evidence, and community defined research. UACF’s renowned Equip, Educate, and Support (EES) peer-to-peer training, as well as other training programs, are offered through the Institute. Also included in training are support groups, family empowerment teams, and distance learning opportunities.
Technical assistance is offered through an 800 phone number and internet message boards. Parent Partners and families are able to get information on available mental health resources in their area and on how to access those resources. The Institute publishes monographs and self-help publications to provide parent partners and families with the latest information on children’s mental health. In addition, the Institute manages special projects in the areas of early childhood mental health, school-based programs, juvenile justice, and transitional age youth.