Child Welfare Organizing Project Parent Leadership Curriculum (CWOP PLC)

About This Program

Target Population: Parents who are involved with the child welfare system

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Program Overview

The Child Welfare Organizing Project Parent Leadership Curriculum (CWOP PLC) is a three-month course that trains and certifies parents to become Parent Advocates that thereafter work in their respective communities and other nonprofit organizations impacting affected parents. Co-designed and co-led by parents and professionals, the CWOP PLC is intended to orient parents involved with the public child welfare system to their rights and responsibilities, laws and regulations governing local practice, and the contractual obligations of service provider agencies. Another goal of the curriculum is to prepare parents for paraprofessional roles as peer organizers and advocates. The CWOP PLC consists of both classroom sessions and experiential learning and leadership opportunities. After completing the curriculum, many of its graduates have secured employment as Parent Advocates in foster care, preventive, and legal services agencies.

Program Goals

The goals of the CWOP Parent Leadership Curriculum (CWOP PLC) are:

  • Orient parents to their rights and responsibilities within the child welfare system
  • Engage parents in policy analysis and systemic advocacy
  • Create leaders in communities impacted by foster care and child protective services

Essential Components

The essential components of the Child Welfare Organizing Project - Parent Leadership Curriculum (CWOP PLC) include:

  • A curriculum co-designed and co-led by parents who have had personal experience with the NYC child welfare system. The classroom sessions consist of:
    • Orientation
    • Interpersonal communication skills
    • History of the New York City Child Welfare System
    • Navigation of the family court and foster care systems
    • Basics of community organizing
    • Local resources for preserving and reuniting families
    • Resume writing and job readiness
  • Examples of experiential learning and leadership opportunities including:
    • Giving testimony at public hearings
    • Participating in presentations at professional conferences and universities
    • Meeting with elected officials
    • Writing for publication
  • Trainees are reimbursed for their expenses in connection with curriculum participation (e.g., carfare, child care, lunch, time off from work). All trainees participate in a weekly peer-led support group.
  • The training has three major components:
    • Support Group with 10-15 participants
    • Field Learning
    • Classroom Learning

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

Child Welfare Organizing Project Parent Leadership Curriculum (CWOP PLC) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Personal involvement with the local public child welfare system: parents who have or have had children in foster care, are or have been clients of preventive service programs, have been investigated by child protective services, are or have been kinship foster or adoptive parents, or have spent some portion of their own childhood in foster care

Recommended Intensity:

10 hours per week

Recommended Duration:

6 months

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider


Child Welfare Organizing Project Parent Leadership Curriculum (CWOP PLC) includes a homework component:

There is a homework component attached to some of the classroom sessions, such as researching local service programs for the "Resources for Preserving and Reuniting Families" session.


Child Welfare Organizing Project Parent Leadership Curriculum (CWOP PLC) has materials available in languages other than English:

Chinese, Spanish

For information on which materials are available in these languages, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Personnel and space resources, including a room large enough to seat up to twenty people.

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

  • Parent Organizers implementing the program must have a history of personal involvement with the New York City public child welfare system, and must have completed the curriculum themselves.
  • Professional class co-leaders have typically included attorneys and social workers with Family Court experience, and community organizers.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
  • Marianne Talbot, Interim Executive Director

    phone: (212) 348-3000
Training is obtained:

According to the needs of those requesting the training.

Number of days/hours:

Varies based on needs.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Child Welfare Organizing Project Parent Leadership Curriculum (CWOP PLC).

Additional References

Lalayants, M. (2012). Child Welfare Organizing Project: Community connections, program evaluation final report June 2012.  Retrieved from the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections website:

Mizrahi, T., Lopez-Humphries, M., & Torres, D. (2009). The social construction of client participation: The evolution and transformation of the role of service recipients in child welfare and mental disabilities. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 36(2), 35-61.

Roseblum, R., & Wulczyn, F. (2010). The parent advocate initiative: Promoting parent advocates in foster care, evaluation report. Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Contact Information

Marianne Talbot
Title: Interim Executive Director
Agency/Affiliation: Child Welfare Organizing Project
Phone: (212) 348-3000
Fax: (212) 348-1605

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: March 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2010