In memory and honor of Wales Brown, NPEN has created the Wales Brown Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is given annually to a chosen front line parenting educator to attend the Zero to Three Conference.
Wales was elected to the NPEN Council in 2016 and was involved with the Communications and Membership Committees and had been serving the past two years on the Executive Committee as Secretary. He was instrumental in so much of the work of NPEN and volunteered his time and expertise generously.For nearly 30 years, Wales dedicated his life to helping parents build stronger, healthier connections with their children throughout upstate New York and beyond. He developed and implemented collaborative programs focusing on in-home preservation, parent education, and reunification of families with a history of abuse and neglect. His ability to connect with parents and children of varying backgrounds, his immense knowledge, and his dedication led him to state and national recognition in his field. Being awarded the prestigious ZERO TO THREE Fellowship (Class of 2014-2016) was a shining example of Wales’s accomplishments and his desire to always strive to expand his knowledge and influence as a leader in the field.
Wales was also a foster parent for more than a decade and was a single father of four boys with special needs who were freed for adoption. He worked in Ecuador, Egypt, and India in children’s residential facilities and was a founding member of the Leadership Training Initiative for people living with HIV/AIDS, developing programming to respond to the needs of those in underserved communities.
His personal and professional background made him uniquely qualified to work with the children and families of Northeast Parent & Child Society in Schenectady, New York, where he worked for 29 years. He was responsible for coordinating and teaching parenting groups for parents of children in different age groups through selected evidence-based curriculums. In addition to the group processes, he provided intensive individual in-home consultations and was a clinician in a supervised visitation program, coordinating and coaching visits using a coached visiting model and working with birth parents to build parenting skills and parental bonding. He completed his Masters in Adult Learning at SUNY Empire State College, and he was a nationally recognized Certified Family Life Educator (National Council on Family Relations). He also coordinated a fathering program in his community service work to help fathers that were separated from their children and worked privately in rural areas providing parent education. Wales served for many years on the New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP) Steering Committee as well as the Credential Committee and Communications Committee. He was one of the first Parenting Educators in New York to apply for and be awarded the NYSPEP Tier III Credential: Senior Parenting Educator.
Wales’s death will be felt deeply in his community and throughout the world of parenting education.