The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) was created by the Connecticut Commission on Children (now the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children and Seniors) as a result of listening to the needs of families in Connecticut. The Commission launched an outreach effort to listen to the views of nontraditional stakeholders on children’s issues for a comprehensive school readiness initiative. Through this outreach effort, it was discovered that parents felt their voices weren’t being heard and that they lacked the advocacy skills necessary to make changes in the lives of their children. From this, the PLTI was born.
The Commission on Women, Children and Seniors (CWCS) is a non-partisan arm of the Connecticut General Assembly. As staff to the legislature, the CWCS researches best practices, coordinates stakeholders, and promotes public policies that are in the best interest of Connecticut’s underserved and underrepresented women, children and older adults.

The agency recognizes that the experiences and needs of each population, while interconnected, are unique and may require individual public policy action. Therefore, the commission’s legislative priority areas for children are meant to:

  • Empower families and community leaders to be change agents on behalf of children;
  • Remove the economic and academic obstacles that prevent children and their families from reaching their full potential; and
  • Promote the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of children.

The partnership between CWCS and NPLI continues to facilitate parent leadership training and opportunities to engage for Parent Leaders across the country.

The National Parent Leadership Institute values collaboration and the collective efforts of like-minded organizations that embrace Parent Leadership as democracy in action and a catalytic movement for empowerment and positive change in the lives of children and their families.

The United Parent Leadership Network (UPLAN) is a valuable Leaders Action that allows parent leaders from all across the country to come together and work on different issues that affect our families and communities.

Toyin Anderson, PLTI Alum, is a member of the UPLAN Governing Council. UPLAN is a natural ”next step” for most Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) Alumni allowing for broader community and civic engagement. Click on the link below to explore their website. If you decide you want to be an active member of UPLAN, individuals can sign up here:
and organizations can sign up here:

The Beginnings of UPLAN

Additional Partners

(ACF) is a division of the Department of Health & Human Services. We promote the economic and social well-being of children, families, individuals and communities with leadership and resources for compassionate, effective delivery of human services.

We are conducting a multi-year evaluation of the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), an initiative based on a civic empowerment training approach that rests on core democratic values. The program enables parents to become advocates for children and focuses on parents as partners with agencies and leaders, ultimately enhancing the civic climate of community life. The training integrates child development, leadership, and democracy skills into a parent curriculum, and encourages parents to focus on their interests in a supportive context. The twenty-week course and civic practice offer detailed information on how change occurs in states and neighborhoods to improve family outcomes, especially the well-being of children.

EmbraceRace was founded in early 2016 by two parents (one Black, the other multiracial Black/White) who set out to create the community and gather the resources they needed (need!) to meet the challenges they face raising children in a world where race matters.

GLR Campaign is taking an approach that leads with what parents want for their own children — their dreams, hopes and aspirations. We must help them in envisioning bold goals for their children, support them in achieving these goals and then join them in marking progress and celebrating success.