About Us

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much

We are a national non-profit organization committed to helping family-led organizations and individual families acquire the knowledge and skills needed to effectively “sit at the table” and influence the policies and decisions that impact the lives of children, youth, and families, including families that face the greatest challenges due to disability, special healthcare needs, poverty, and discrimination.

We are a coalition of non-profit family driven organizations. National PLACE is operated by a volunteer Board of Directors who are advocates with extensive experience in educating and supporting the participation of stakeholders, especially parent organizations.

Take Your PLACE at the Table

There are many notable national groups working diligently and having a powerful impact on specific causes or disabilities. These existing networks can be strengthened by joining together, eliciting input from constituents, and coalescing and collaborating with other committed groups, to form a voice that cannot be minimized or ignored by policy-makers.

The parent voice is critical to the work of many national organizations, we need to help keep that in focus. National PLACE has one priority: serving as a single site where effective parent engagement is nurtured and promoted to support diverse family leaders in advocating to improve all the systems that serve children and families, from education to healthcare, from child behavioral health to juvenile justice, from child welfare to family support.

Founding / Board Member Organizations

Exceptional Children's Assistance Center

Family Network on Disabilities

Access for Special Kids (ASK) Resource Center

MATRIX Parent Network and Resource Center

Open Doors for Multicultural Families

Parent to Parent of Georgia, Inc.

Parents Reaching Out

PEAK Parent Center

SPAN Parent Advocacy Network, Inc.

The Parents’ Place of Maryland

Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support


Nora Thompson, President: Director of Matrix (CA)
Debi Tucker, VP: Director of GA Parent to Parent (GA)
Jan Serak, Sec'y/Treasurer: Former Director of WI FACETS (WI) 
Diana Autin, Director: Executive Co-Director of SPAN Parent Advocacy Network (NJ)

Board Members:

Barb Buswell, Board Member: Director of PEAK (CO)
Debra Jennings, Board Member: Co-Director of SPAN Parent Advocacy Network (NJ)
Ginger Kwan, Board Member: Executive Director of Open Doors for Multicultural Families (WA)
Rich LaBelle, Board Member: Director of Family Network on Disabilities (FL)
Courtney Salzer, Board Member: Director of WI FACETS (WI) 
Naomi Sandweiss, Board Member: Executive Director of Parents Reaching Out (PRO) (NM)​ 
Jazmone Taylor, Board Member: Training Coordinator of The Parents' Place of Maryland (MD)
Karen Thompson, Board Member: Executive Director of Access for Special Kids (ASK) Resource Center (IA) 

Laura Weber, Board Member: Director of ECAC (NC) 

How to Contact Us:

Phone: 1 862 772 8776

Email: nationalplace@parentsatthetable.org