YLC Convenes National Conference of QPI Champions
YLC launched the Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) over a decade ago as a national movement committed to ensuring that all children in care have excellent parenting and lasting relationships so they can thrive and grow. Over 100,000 children, 25% of children in care in the United States, are affected by the QPI approach. One of QPI’s newest initiatives prioritizes investing in the leadership and advocacy capacity of local leaders, particularly directly impacted youth and families, to train them as “QPI Champions”, advocates who champion needed changes in their own communities. Over the last year, QPI has trained over 250 champions across the country.
In September, the inaugural QPI Champions Conference, “Applying a QPI Developmental Lens to Ensure Excellent Parenting and Relationships for Young Children and Teens” was held in Reno, Nevada. 147 QPI-trained advocates attended the in-person event in “the biggest little city in the world”!
Participants received training on meeting the unique developmental needs of infants and young children in child welfare practice from international child development expert, Dr. Charles Zeanah, as well as training on a developmental research informed approach to practice for adolescents. Champions had the opportunity to work with their peers from across the country in applying research to practice through identifying necessary practice and policy changes in the areas of recruitment and retention, transitions, placement matching, placement stability, working with partners, and promoting birth and foster parent relationships. The conference also addressed changes needed to affirm and uplift children’s racial, ethnic and cultural identity, and gave an example of how one site’s efforts to apply research to change their visitation policy and practice to support children’s relationships and the relationships between families.
This was an exciting first convening for our Champions who are leading the charge in national child welfare system reform. For more information about the QPI Champions and training, read more here.