What is Family Leadership Inc?

“Success starts at home!” Family Leadership empowers families with transformational parenting and leadership skills that equip them to become vital contributors to their children’s academic success. Parents now serve as successful leaders in their homes, schools, and communities.

Family Leadership Inc is the non-profit organization that operates Parenting Partners, Family Meals Challenge, Calm & Kind Family and Pro Series Workshops.  As a non-profit our focus is continually expanding our programs to serve our school partners as the most effective Professional Learning resource for families and school staff.

Family Leadership Inc Reliably Achieves Three Essential Outcomes:

  1. Positive family engagement with schools.
  2. Strong home learning environments.
  3. Improved academics. Students exceed reading levels, grades go up, and students reach college/career goals.


David and Patty Bunker developed a school-based family leadership initiative in 1996 and created the Parenting Partners curriculum. Since we started Parenting Partners in schools in 1996 we have a history of continually learning best practices from our peer network of school district Family Engagement leaders and researchers, and then bringing that innovation into our network through expanded curriculum with training and certification.

Launching the Capacity Building Model

Patty Bunker, our National Director of Parent Engagement, gained the experience to start Parenting Partners during her practice as a licensed Marriage, Family, and Child Counselor.  She developed the first Parenting Partners curriculum in 1996 for a school which had more than 400 homeless students and immigrant parents from more than 20 countries.

She tried using existing programs, but none built on the strengths of our parents.  With Parenting Partners she combined adult learning principles, family strengths, and leadership principles to build a network of parents who improve school success results.

We conducted five years of field-testing with parents in fifty schools with high homeless and immigrant populations.  The Search Institute, the influential youth research organization, contributed editorial staffing to help develop our Manuals and research.  We quickly discovered that despite dramatic poverty statistics, parents became energized by our positive approach. They rapidly became skilled leaders in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods.

Adoption in School Districts Nationally

Parenting Partners expanded in 2001 as a resource for school districts nationally.

With an emphasis on building practical skills, parents reported improvement in their relationship to their children. They increased their ability to contribute to their children’s school success, to give their children clear instructions, to provide positive discipline and to reduce arguments in the home.

Graduating parents volunteered in classrooms, became school site leaders, and became effective Parenting Partners Facilitators.

Leadership as the “Secret Sauce” of Capacity Building

The Gallup Strengths page is available anytime as a resource for people to learn more about their top five strengths. Click on the box for each of your Strengths to see a testimony video from Gallup experts, a detailed description of that Strength, words to describe you and examples of your strengths in action.

Expansion of Parenting Partners Professional Learning Content

We are excited that more than 200,000 parents have now experienced this six-week parent leadership training in cohorts of 10-15 parents. Each school or community has a team of Parenting Partners Facilitators from their own neighborhood, including parents and school staff.

The curriculum has been advanced with input from thousands of Parenting Partners Facilitators and parents — refined through more than 15 editions.

As Districts asked for additional workshop content for Professional Learning, we created additional curriculum for parent engagement and professional learning. 

Parent and professional learning workshops we’ve added since launching Parenting Partners include:

  • How to Run Successful Workshops – Parent boost their skills in facilitating workshops, presenting, and team building. This builds the capacity for parents to lead workshops, creating sustainability for Family Engagement.
  • The Family Meals Challenge – This 3 week workshop series creates rapid improvement in the quantity and quality of time parents spend with their children and teens. School success and wellness improve with more conversation and connection at home. We were able to develop the in-person and online version of Family Meals Challenge with support from the Fansler Foundation.
  • Pro Strengths – The professional learning experience utilizes Gallup’s Strengths Finder™ to bring teams together around their strengths. Cohorts experience the training online while interacting with message boards and an in-person session.
  • Top Study Skills – This self-directed resource gives parents skills to support their children’s study, reading, and learning.
  • Calm & Kind Family – This 4 week workshop focuses on emotional wellness practices in the home, brain based calming strategies, self-care, self-compassion and trauma informed discipline strategies.