The Milford Health Department, in collaboration with Kids Count of Milford and the United Way of Milford, will kick off the next Parent Leadership Training Institute in January. The Parent Leadership Training Institute program was developed by the State of Connecticut\u2019s Commission on Children to enable parents to become leading advocates for children. The cornerstones of the program are respect, validation, and a belief that when the tools of democracy are understood, the public will actively engage in civic life. \u201cParent leadership training provides an opportunity for parents to develop the leadership skills necessary to effect change and build a strong community for all children,\u201d said Dr. A. Dennis McBride, director of the Milford Health Department. Parent Leadership Training Institute students participate in an 18-week comprehensive program designed to provide the civic and leadership skills needed to work in the community on behalf of children. Each student completes a community project that contributes to the well being of Milford\u2019s children. The community project also gives students a hands-on opportunity to apply the skills learned in the program. The Parent Leadership Training Institute is conducted in Milford to involve, empower, and support parents and caregivers to improve the lives of children at home, in school, and in the community. It also provides training for parents in the areas of conflict resolution, negotiation and public speaking, as well as on best practices in areas such as child development, education and human services. Applications for the program are being accepted on a first come, first served basis by the Milford Health Department. Classes, dinner, and on-site childcare will be provided free of charge to participants. For further information about the program or for applications, contact Lesley Darling at the Milford Health Department at 203-783-3314.