About Us

Family Leadership Inc

Family Leadership Inc is a non-profit organization serving parents, families, schools and community agencies since 1996. We provide training and certification to school and community leaders in the facilitation of Parenting Partners™ workshops. We are teaming with hundreds of school districts and agencies across North America to bring parent skill-building and leadership training to parents. We also provide professional development training to schools and school districts.

The mission of Family Leadership Inc is:

  • To empower parents to be skilled, confident, positive leaders in their homes, their children’s schools, and their communities.
  • To effectively involve parents in academic improvement for their children and communities.
  • To engage parents in building Developmental Assets in children which protect them from risky behaviors and produce school success.
  • To form partnerships of parents, schools and community organizations which multiply the number of effective, asset-building parents.

Our methods include:

  • Empowering thousands of parents with parenting and leadership skills through Parenting Partners™ training.
  • Training and resourcing teams of excellent parent trainers to provide Parenting Partners™ classes with a low-cost model that ensures multiplication, sustainability and longevity.
  • Empowering parents to partner with their schools.


Just before starting Family Leadership Inc and developing the Parenting Partners™ curriculum and training, we were developing neighborhood improvement partnerships with schools, police departments, congregations, and neighborhood associations. We then came to realize that parents were often overlooked in these partnerships. Believing that parents are the “secret sauce” for school and neighborhood improvement, we formed Family Leadership Inc in order to multiply the number of positive parent leaders in our most distressed neighborhoods.

We developed the Parenting Partners™ curriculum to engage these parents in leadership, believing that parents need a respectful, empowering, assets-based approach. The curriculum incorporated the Youth Developmental Assets identified by the Search Institute, and was influenced by the inside-out “Assets Based Community Development” research of Northwestern University.

We began our five years of field-testing in 1996 with parents in schools with high homeless and immigrant populations. We quickly discovered that despite dramatic poverty statistics, parents became energized by our positive approach and became skilled leaders in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods.

With an emphasis on building practical skills, parents reported immediate improvement in their relationship to their children. They reported an increased 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 the school parent leaders, and started neighborhood improvement organizations. In addition, many parents started joined the presenting teams and began teaching the Parent Partners classes.

We have worked from the beginning with the Search Institute, America’s leading youth research organization, to bring the practical, proven framework of Youth Asset Development to families. Parenting Partners™ was the first parent leadership application of the Assets.

We are excited that more than 70,000 parents have now experienced this eight-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, teachers, and school psychologists. More than 700 volunteer Facilitators are serving our parents.

Family Leadership has found that these parents are the leaders our communities and children are looking for, whether they speak Spanish, English, Hmong, or Punjabi, and whether they live in urban or rural communities. As we build their confidence and skills, they effectively step up as powerful leaders in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods.

Our trainers

David and Patty Bunker are the authors and lead trainers of Parenting Partners™, a system of positive parenting being used by parents and schools across North America. They lead a network of 700 trainers who have brought more than 60,000 parents through parent leadership workshops. These parents are raising thriving children in their homes and communities through positive, practical skills, including the 40 Assets™ — the proven building blocks of successful youth.

Patty Bunker has been a family trainer for twenty years. She is a California licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Patty has served as a high school counselor, therapist at a hospital for adolescents and children, and has a private therapy practice for families.

David Bunker has led community-building nonprofits for over twenty years. He has started initiatives for homeless families for World Vision in more than twenty-five cities. He was a founding staff member for Care Fresno, a partnership of the Fresno Police Department, schools and churches that dramatically lowered crime in the twenty highest crime neighborhoods in Fresno.

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