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Effective Partnerships With Parents:
Community Cafes

Communities utilize the Community Café approach to create the change they envision.

What is a Community Cafe?

Community Cafés are a series of guided conversations based on the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors Framework leadership development and parent partnership. These conversations are hosted by parent leaders who use the World Café technique to increase community wisdom, build parent voice and facilitate action to improve lives for children.

The process is designed, planned and implemented by parents, working with their community partners. Typical community partners include:

  • early child care and education sites
  • neighborhood centers
  • community based family resource centers
  • schools
  • immigrant and refugee agencies
  • faith based organizations
  • health departments or any system or agency that touches the lives of families and children.

Prior to hosting Cafés, interested parents and community members attend an eight hour co-learning group orientation that invites participants to design a culturally relevant café that focuses on:

  • Promoting the Strengthening Families Protective Factors that all families need to help their children thrive
  • Gaining the leadership skills needed for transformative change
  • Building and maintaining effective partnerships

Participants leave the orientation with their own interactive Conversation Kit and enough conversation material for six cafés. Most Cafés continue long after the six conversation topics are covered, as communities continue to utilize the Community Café approach to create the change they envision. Parents are also encouraged to mentor other parents to become hosts.

For more information on Community Cafes, Orientation Training, or to find a Community Cafe near you

Please contact us at

Community Cafe Publications

COMMUNITY CAFÉS: Building Parent Leadership and Strengthening New York State Families and Communities

imagenycccAn exciting new document produced by the New York CTF and their partners based on the work by Robin Higa and Amber Huffstickler in assessing the learning from the community cafes held there in Spring 2013.

Host Orientation guide

In this orientation guide, participants who attend an orientation receive an interactive kit that includes visuals for conversation, design tools, evaluation tools, sample invitations, handouts, poetry and a sample proposal for grant writing.

Because of variation in download speed and file size, it is highly recommended to right-click on each of the links and select "File/Save As" to save directly to your computer or choose "Open file in New Window" for loading.

Community Cafe Guide for Hosts: Changing the Lives of Children Through Conversations that Matter

This guide is intended to accompany a full-day orientation to the Community Café approach and includes a description of a typical planning process along with a tool for each step of the way.

Guide to Forming a Community Café Leadership Team

This guide encourages the development of new leadership teams across the country to support Community Café best practice. The Community Café Leadership Team (CCLT) journey started in Olympia, WA, with two parents who wanted to help their local prevention board build relationships with communities and parents from marginalized neighborhoods. In a short time, the leadership team grew, tools were developed and a partnership with the Alliance was established to share the approach with state children’s trust funds. This guide defines what a leadership team can be and describes possible roles and purposes, based on the WA State leadership team’s journey. It describes tools and resources that will help others interested in forming leadership teams to support Community Cafés.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to open a PDF document. To download this free software, please click here.