Connecticut Commission on Children: An Agency of the Connecticut General Assembly
The Connecticut Commission on Children
dancing kids logo General Assembly logo 18-20 Trinity Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06106-1591

Phone: (860) 240-0290  | Fax: (860) 240-0248 | E-mail

An Overview of PLTI

Photos: Doug Edwards

Mission statement

The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) helps parents become leading advocates for children. It is designed by the American Leadership Forum, Leadership Greater Hartford, and the Connecticut Commission on Children.


The cornerstones of the program are respect, validation and a belief that when the tools of democracy are understood, the public will become active participants in communities.

Definition of parent leadership

Parent leadership is the capacity for parents to interact within society with purpose and positive outcomes for children.

The public is increasingly alienated from government. Most parents are deeply concerned about the impact of schools, community and the environment on their children, but don't know how systems function or how decisions are made within the public policy and budget domains. A democracy toolkit is needed to develop the skills of civic leadership.


PLTI has these goals:

The course

Parents are offered leadership training that includes:

The course ends with a local graduation and a statewide graduation where participants receive diplomas from the Secretary of the State.

The 20-week course also includes instruction on:

Who are the parent leaders?

Adults raising children including mothers, fathers, grandparents, stepparents parents. But you don't need to be a parent to be in the class, just care about improving systems for children.

Who benefits?

Parents, children and communities benefit. Parents gain self-confidence using their skills as change-agents within communities. Children benefit when parents participate more in their lives as advocates and decision-makers. Communities benefit as parents use their tools of democracy in civic initiatives.

What makes PLTI unique?

Some values in the structure of the PLTI include parent leadership developed through trust, participation, skills building, hope and expectation. These ingredients offer parents, who seek to create change for their children and others, a ladder towards leadership through unique features:

PLTI is intergenerational.

The PLTI recognizes that multiple generations raise children. The program offers leadership training to parents and grandparents. The children attend dinner and participate in child care while their guardians are in class. This parent-child participation in leadership enhances children's visions of their own potential to effect change.

PLTI expands its circle of effect.

Parent graduates serve as mentors for the next class of students. Parents participate, advise, speak and mentor other parents and programs seeking to work with parents as partners. The Design team which sponsors the PLTI initiative in the community also helps bring about change.

PLTI selection is parent-based.

Parents are selected on individual merit based on their application and interview. Some applicants are self-referred. Others are referred by PLTI graduates, religious institutions, schools or community agencies. The PLTI strengthens a diverse constituency of parents who can access and utilize community assets to meet parent-defined goals.

More about PLTI:
Overview | Videos | Graduates | Research | Library | Praise | Graduations | News
Sites and contacts | For coordinators

If you are outside Connecticut and want to join or launch a PLTI program in your state, contact:

The National Parent Leadership Institute
1028 Boulevard, Suite 321
West Hartford, CT 06119

Website: | Phone: (860) 327-0477

"Parent Leadership Training Institute" and "PLTI" are service marks owned by the Connecticut Commission on Children. They may not be used without the Commission's written permission.

This page was last updated: May 16, 2014

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Flickr Follow us on YouTube Follow our RSS feed
CT-N logo ConneCTkids