Be Strong Parent Cafés

In 2007, the Be Strong Parent Café process was created and developed by Strengthening Families Illinois to educate family members/family leaders on the five research-based Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors that keep children safe and families strong. The purpose of Be Strong Parent Cafés is to provide an environment in which parents and family members can build protective factors through individual deep self-reflection and peer-to-peer learning. The model is based on the principles of adult learning and family support and builds family member leadership. Through the efforts of the PA Strengthening Families Leadership Team with funding support from the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and facilitated by the Center for Schools and Communities, Pennsylvania has offered the Be Strong Parent Café Training Institutes (PCTI) since 2016 to encourage more communities to use this forum for engage family members.

For more information on scheduling the parent café training, please contact

Upcoming Training

Parent Café Table Host Training and Understanding the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework Course

Join us for a full day of training to strengthen your café teams! In the morning you will dive deep into the role of the table host and sharpen your hosting skills. The afternoon will focus on expanding your knowledge of the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors; the backbone of parent cafes.

Morning Course
Table hosts are some of the most important people at a parent café – they keep the conversation flowing, delve deeper into questions posed, and connect the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors to the observations made by café participants. Join us for this experiential workshop to deepen your hosting skills. You will explore active listening techniques, practice asking reflective questions, and learn practical strategies to deal with difficult situations that may arise in the café. Be prepared to discuss your café experiences and bring your questions!

Afternoon Course
The Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors, identified by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), are strengths and resources that families can draw on when life gets difficult. When these five factors are present and robust, they keep families strong and children safe. In this interactive workshop, we will define each factor, identify everyday actions that promote them in families, and how the protective factors are present in their own lives. This will support Parent Café team members to ensure that protective factors are woven through the theme of their cafes, guide table conversations, and are built through family member participation in the café process. Having a thorough understanding of this framework helps café teams create environments where families grow stronger.

Any organization that has attended a Parent Café Training Institute is eligible to send participants to the Parent Café Table Host Training. Participants might, but are not required to, have attended the Institute. This is a great opportunity to send parents and staff members that have been added to your team as you implement cafes!

Thursday, February 27, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (registration at 8:30 a.m.; lunch provided)
Center for Schools and Communities
275 Grandview Avenue
Camp Hill, PA 17011

Thursday, March 5, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (registration at 8:30 a.m.; lunch provided)
Allegheny Intermediate Unit
475 East Waterfront Drive
Homestead, PA 15120

Thursday, April 30, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (registration at 8:30 a.m.; lunch provided)
Early Learning Resource Center, Region 1
3823 West 12th Street
Erie, PA 16505

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (registration at 8:30 a.m.; lunch provided)
Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)
333 Technology Drive
Malvern, PA 19355