1. WHAT IS NPEN?
NPEN is the National Parenting Education Network. NPEN is a group of parenting education professionals, researchers, program administrators, and others striving to build the field of parenting education by networking and making connections to move the field forward. In order to expand participation, NPEN is currently developing an outreach plan to increase state involvement.
NPEN is comprised of practitioners who provide parenting education as a primary part of their work. NPEN has local, state, and national structures for resources and support. It is bound together by commonly accepted principles, notably the principles of embeddedness and inclusivity.
This means that NPEN takes the position that one goal of parenting education is to provide access to parenting education resources for all parents and recognizes that parenting education is embedded in a large number of organizations and fields, all of which are important in addressing NPEN’s goals.
NPEN seeks to represent the interests and needs of the many professionals, paraprofessionals and volunteers who serve as parenting educators.
NPEN is governed by a council of 20-25 members who set the policy and establish the projects to be pursued.
2. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF NPEN?
NPEN’s purpose is to increase recognition and catalyze growth in the field of parenting education. NPEN is committed to advancing the field of parenting education.
The stated goals are to provide:
- Information Sharing: (1) To facilitate and encourage the sharing of and discussion about ideas, resources, practices and any other information relevant to parenting educators and (2) To consolidate and/or make accessible research-based information and resources on parenting education.
- Professional Development: To help parenting education practitioners build their skills and the profession by addressing issues that transcend disciplinary and regional boundaries such as professional identity, ethics, standards and certification, training and accessibility.
- Networking: To facilitate contacts among practitioners and organizations involved in parenting education in order to increase their effectiveness in supporting parents and families.
- Leadership: To provide national leadership in the field of parenting education among professionals, policy makers, media and the public.
3. WHO IS INVOLVED WITH NPEN?
4. HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
NPEN is working on many issues and projects that could use your help, expertise, and organizational affiliation. First and foremost, NPEN needs you to become active in the issue or project that is closest to your heart. There are a number of opportunities for your active involvement in NPEN Committee work. Among them are:
- Building local/state/national membership and networking with parenting educators, other parenting professionals, advocates, and other organizations(Networking & Membership Committee)
- Maintaining and expanding both the NPEN website and listserv resources (Communications & Website Resources for Parenting Educators Committee)
- Identifying and understanding parenting educator competencies and available parenting educator professional preparation and recognition (Professional Preparation & Recognition Committee)
- Helping increase financial resources to ensure sustainability of NPEN over time (Financial Resource Development Committee)
- Raising awareness among decision makers and the general public about the importance of parenting education (Leadership & Advocacy Committee)
- Helping identify fellow NPEN members who may be interested in serving on the NPEN Council (Nominations Committee)
5. HOW DO INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS BENEFIT FROM NPEN MEMBERSHIP?
- Connect with other parent educators
- Learn about other parenting education initiatives around the country
- Participate in promoting and building the field of parenting education by becoming a member, joining one of NPEN’s committees, and working on projects of interest
- Access the website and listserv to help you stay connected with others in the field
- Learn about and get more involved at the local, state, national and/or international level
6. DOES NPEN OFFER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES?
Yes, there are opportunities to connect with other members and to share resources and training activities through the listserv and website.
NPEN also offers professional development opportunities in collaboration with other professional groups as part of their annual conferences in conjunction with the NPEN annual meeting. For example:
- NPEN collaborated with the Fatherhood and Families Coalition of America by offering a block of NPEN-sponsored workshops at their annual conference in Los Angeles in February 2010. The NPEN annual meeting was held at the same time.
- NPEN collaborated with the Louisiana Parenting Education Network and Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana (PCAL) by offering a block of NPEN-sponsored workshops at the PCAL annual “Kids are Worth It!” conference in Baton Rouge in March 2009. The NPEN annual meeting was held at the same time.
NPEN Council members routinely offer workshops through the National Council on Family Relations and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
7. WHAT HAS NPEN ACCOMPLISHED?
NPEN has established a common set of principles and a creative leadership and organizational structure that is inclusive and embedded. This means that NPEN takes the position that one goal of parenting education is to provide access to parenting education resources for all parents and recognizes that parenting education is embedded in a large number of organizations and fields, all of which are important in addressing NPEN’s goals.
NPEN is in the process of identifying and updating information about parenting education professional networks and organizations in states across the nation in an effort to promote networking among these groups and inform parenting educators about networks available by state.
“Framework for Understanding Parenting Educator Professional Preparation and Recognition” (PDF) designed to provide information about existing types of professional preparation and recognition available for practitioners in the field of parenting education.
8. IS THERE A MEMBERSHIP FEE?
Yes, the cost for individual membership is $25 per year and for organizational membership is $100 per year. See How to Join for more information.
See also: Committees