Parent Café Fidelity Model

Hosting Quality Parent Cafés

Parent Cafés are a process. For that process to be successful, there must be fidelity to the model — without fidelity to the model, the quality of a parent café is eroded. 

All Parent Cafés contain the following elements. If one is missing, it may be an excellent event that generates meaningful and productive conversation, but is not a parent café: 

    • Welcome 
    • Introduction to Theme of Café (Protective Factors introduced)
    • Introduction to Agreements
    • One-on-One (Dyad Conversation) & Debrief
    • Hosted Table Conversations 
    • Individual Commitment Cards
    • Harvest / Large Group Debrief by Protective Factor
    • One-Word Closing

The quality standards for each of the above components of a parent café are described thoroughly and practiced in Be Strong Families two-day Parent Café Training Institute. They are also described in the pamphlet Parent Café in a Box Implementation Guide.  

There are key quality elements that are essential for parent cafés. It is not a parent café if: 

    • There are more than 5 people at a table (including the host)
    • Agreements are not kept
    • Table hosts have not been prepared in advance for their role
    • Table hosts are facilitating rather than hosting the table conversations (such as by participants follow-up questions in order to ascertain the depth of their issues or to solve their challenge, dominating the conversation, or controlling the conversation—see Parent Café Conversation Flow graphic below)
    • The protective factors are not explicitly referred to in the introduction, table conversations, and large group debrief
    • Parents / members of the target audience for parent cafés are not included in the planning and implementation of the parent café in key leadership roles–including as table hosts (NB: This may not be true at the very beginning of a café initiative, but there should be a plan in place to accomplish this objective) 

Parent Cafe Table Conversation Flow