Brochure /English

Brochure /Spanish

Disease Prevention/Vaccine Training


Virtual Online Parents Empowerment Academy and Professional Advocacy Training Classroom and Course Platform


The VOPEA (Virtual Online Parents Empowerment Academy and Professional Parent Advocacy Training Classroom and Course Platform) is the beginning of a new era of virtual unity, collaboration, and parent and caregiver learning. The primary purpose and long-term goal of VOPEA is to improve the wellbeing of families raising children with mental health disabilities, who struggle with accessing appropriate services and supports because of barriers which include but are not limited to childcare issues, lack of economic resources, transportation issues, and their own healthcare needs.

While VOPEA will not replace the Professional Parent Advocacy Training real-time offerings, it will provide an opportunity for parents to participate via a virtual classroom, so that parents and caregivers don't lose a level of educational interaction and bonding with their peers that is an integral component of the training.


NJPC Parents Empowerment Academy

The NJPC Parents Empowerment Academy is a comprehensive training and education program that enables:

Parents of children with emotional and behavioral challenges to appropriately and collaboratively negotiate with government agencies and other system partners. Our parent trainings are DCP&P (DYFS) approved for certification of foster, adoptive and kinship providers.

Professionals and providers in the child-serving arena to strengthen their knowledge of family engagement and provides practical tools and strategies which they can implement in their local organizations.

Engaging Parents & Family Member Training

Engaging Parents & Family Members is a one day training for professionals and providers in the child-serving arena on family engagement.

The workshop explores engagement strategies and barriers, history and principles of family involvement, and specific strategies for high-risk families. The curriculum includes Building Consensus & Collaboration with Parents and Family Members, Critical Elements of Family Engagement, The Impact of Community on Family Engagement, Family-Specific Strategies, and Recruitment & Retention.

Professionals attending the training are given the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge of family engagement and will receive practical tools and strategies which they can implement in their local organizations, resulting in improved outcomes for children and families.

Brochure - English

Download the English version of the Parents Empowerment Academy Brochure

PPA Training Evaluation - English

The NJPC Professional Advocacy Training Evaluation Part 3 has been developed to determine if the training is effective in transferring knowledge, empowering parents, and improving outcomes for children involved in the Mental Health, Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare and Special Education Systems. Approximately one year after the training, a NJPC staff person will contact you to participate in the evaluation.

Please complete a form for each child with special needs.

Brochure - Spanish

Descargue la versión en inglés del Folleto de la Academia de Empoderamiento de Padres

PPA Training Evaluation - Spanish

Esta forma, por el New Jersey Parents' Caucus, se ha desarrollado para determinar si el entrenamiento es efectivo en la transferencia de conocimiento, el empoderamiento de los padres, y mejorar los resultados de sus hijos. Seis (6) meses o un (1) año después de la formación, un miembro del personal NJPC le pedirá que participen en este formulario de evaluación.

Por favor complete un formulario para cada niño con necesidades especiales.

Academy Training and Certification

The NJPC Parents Empowerment Academy offers training and certification in the following areas:

Professional Parent Advocacy - 6 Week Training

Engaging Parents and Family Members

Strengthening Families Raising Children with Addiction Issues

Understanding Childhood Mental Health Challenges & the DSM 5

Navigating the Special Education System & The IEP Process

The Adolescent Brain: An Introduction

'Man Talk' Educational Series for Fathers and Other Male Caregivers

Empowering vs. Enabling

Professionalism & Communications Skills

Empowering the Parent Voice: Motivation & Assertiveness

Conflict Resolution Skills & The Power of Persuasion

Ensuring Diversity, Cultural Competency & Multiculturalism in Child-Serving Agencies

Collaborating with Parents & Family Members Raising Children with Co-occuring Disorders

Building Systems of Care: An Overview for Families (A Shiela Pires Primer)

Family Involvement in the Child Welfare (DCP&P) System

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) & How It Impacts NJ Families

Engaging Families in the Juvenile Justice System to support Children with Mental Health Challenges

Collaborating with NJ Agencies Dedicated to Children with Mental Health Challenges

Empowering Families and Communities Through Public Policy Work

Family Care Management: Engaging Family Members as Case Managers

Train the Trainer: Empowering the Parent Trainer

Parents Comments on the Professional Parent Advocacy Trainings:

I really felt the Professional Parent Advocacy training was extensive and informative. I am very sad it's over, but I am eager to train other parents. One of my personal goals is I never want another parent to fell the way I did, lost and unsure. I am so much better for taking this course and am so grateful for the NJPC.

I would like to share a quick personal blurb that I got out of the class. The first class (or second) we had to role play and I had to play the parent. While I thought in my head what I was saying was true, I felt unsure and not confident with my stand. Our last class when we had to stand and talk about our case study, I felt more comfortable in what I was saying. I had so much more knowledge and therefore, was able to confidently make our case. I was so amazed by the confidence I gained as well being so much better informed. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and look forward to working with you and the NJPC.

Parents Comments on the Professional Parent Advocacy Trainings:

....What they did not count on, I know the law.  I owe that to you and NJPC!  Thank God and I really mean Thank God that I came to your Empowering Parents Classes, then went on to a Wrightslaw Conference.   That knowledge has helped me in my fight for the rights of my son and for the others in his class and those who follow him.


Provider Comments on the Professional Parent Advocacy Trainings:

It was such a pleasure to be a part of this training and so inspiring for me. I don't even know if training is the correct word that I would use because it was more personal, warm and enlightening. I am now able to serve the families that I work with better, have a deeper understanding about their own personal journeys and feel empowered that I have more information that can help me be a better advocate for myself and others. I came in with the expectation of learning about concepts, getting a better understanding about IEP's and the advocating process. I left the training which so much more.


One of the things that I am most proud of is my ability to partner with the families that I work with. I will do just about anything to help others but have difficulties putting my own needs first. What I didn't expect from this training was to find my own voice for myself. By the second time that we all met, I felt more confident, was more vocal about my opinions and felt more confident. It was like a seed was planted by the families in the room and their warmth spirit allowed it grow inside of me. I knew it was always there but was hiding due to fear. All I know is that it changed me for the better. Listening to the parent's stories was so incredible for me. It was a journey that I felt so privilege to be a part of.


Thank you. I just wanted to add that the last activity reminded me how important it is to do a complete intake, to ask questions, get information from the person's support system and having my own support system who will educate, support and encouraging to me. Thank you.