The Family Service Self-Help Center awarded Earl Kloppmann, Children’s Home + Aid Program Manager for Parents Care + Share, the 2017 Mowrer Award for Outstanding Established Group. The award is in recognition of Earl’s work with the many parent support groups at Children’s Home + Aid. Darci Thompson, Regional Coordinator for Parents Care + Share at Children’s Home + Aid, nominated Earl for the award.

Earl has been with the program as well as the agency for more than 15 years. Parents Care + Share of Illinois is a statewide network of family support groups that link groups together to form a strong, committed statewide force to empower parents, decrease social and emotional isolation, and develop parent leadership through training and increased responsibilities. The goal of the program is to prevent and reduce child abuse and neglect.

Due to budget cuts in 2016, all of the Parents Care + Share Coordinators throughout the state were terminated. This left Earl as the lone Parents Care + Share representative for the entire state. For nearly a year, Earl oversaw 40 parent support groups statewide with 892 parents and 382 children for a total of 1,273 people. Because of his passion and belief in the power of parent-led support groups, his strong desire to provide free services to families, and his devotion to Children’s Home + Aid, Earl was able to keep the entire program running.

For the past 15 years, Earl has displayed a passion for group services and in the power of parents helping other parents. He has spearheaded and pushed the promotion of a peer-to-peer model for parent groups at multiple statewide conferences and trainings. Earl has also thrown himself behind a statewide fatherhood initiative, promoting inclusive services for fathers. He has been able to obtain funding and resources to participate in research for fathers in Parents Care + Share. He created a father-friendly training that is implemented across the entire statewide program. Earl also led a group of employees and parents in the creation of the Parent Leadership Ladder, a model for promoting parent leadership and ownership in groups, that is used throughout the entire state.

We’re so proud of Earl and this well-deserved recognition. The Mowrer Award for Outstanding Existing Group is a wonderful acknowledgment of not only the strength and quality of the Parents Care + Share program, but also a strong reflection of Earl’s dedication to the families we serve.

The Self-Help Center is a program of Family Service and provides support to self-help groups in Champaign County and in surrounding communities in east central Illinois.The Mowrer Award is named after Hobart and Molly Mowrer, professors at the University of Illinois, who were pioneers in the development of the self-help/support group movement. Each year, The Self-Help Center recognizes those with a strong commitment and understanding of the value of a support group with the Mowrer Award. Earl was one of six individuals, in six categories, selected this year to receive a Mowrer award.