Learn about the OPEC initiative

Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative

Of all the things that influence a child's growth and development, the most critical is reliable, responsive, and sensitive parenting. Parents - biological and adoptive parents, foster parents, grandparents, and other caregivers - lay the foundation for children’s social, emotional, mental, academic, and physical health, and well-being. It takes a village to raise a child and a community to support parents in their most important (and often challenging!) role.

The Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative (OPEC) supports a statewide network of parenting “Hubs” striving to connect families with free parenting resources and programs in communities and online to help parents be the parents they want to be. OPEC programs are for all families and strive to build community while honoring each family for their values, identities, home language, culture, and lived experiences. OPEC programs are free to families in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California, based in research, and culturally responsive.

OPEC is a partnership between four of Oregon’s largest foundations (The Oregon Community Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust and The Collins Foundation) and Oregon State University (OSU). In addition to funding, OPEC supports grantees through evaluation, technical assistance, and professional development led by faculty and staff at OSU.

Mission & Vision

The Mission of the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative (OPEC) is to support delivery of high-quality parenting education programs that are evidence based and culturally responsive. In addition OPEC supports collaborative efforts to strengthen regional parenting education systems through coordination and planning.

Vision: All Oregon parents (and parents in Siskiyou County, CA) will have access to high-quality, proven parenting education programs that support them in their critical role as their children’s first and most important teachers; all Oregon communities will be served by a network of strong parenting programs and a regional parenting education “Hub;” and Oregon will be a national leader in professionalizing and normalizing parenting education.

History of OPEC

In July 2010, the OPEC initiative launched six new regional parenting Hubs serving 12 counties. Since then, an expansion of OPEC increased the number of parenting education Hubs to 17, serving all 36 Oregon counties and Siskiyou County, CA. OPEC Hubs collaborate with community partners to build an infrastructure for parenting education and lead regional efforts to:

  • Develop strategic plans for meeting parenting education needs in their regions
  • Coordinate and promote parenting education opportunities
  • Foster the normalization of participation in parenting education
  • Expand access to evidence-based and high quality programming for families with children of all ages
  • Advance the use of best practices for program implementation
  • Evaluate common outcomes for participating parents

In addition, OPEC has supported parenting education programs in areas not covered by a Hub through funding for small grants to provide evidence-based classes and home visiting for specific groups of parents. To date, 28 small grants have been awarded.