The Parent Partner Program works to promote self-reliance empowerment, to develop and provide effective services and respect the unique culture and history of each family and youth; to promote partnership between the families, mental health providers, health care providers and other agency/school personnel; to provide advocacy, support and help with IEP’s (Individualized Education Plan).
Parent Partner Objective
- Partner with child welfare, juvenile courts and alcohol and other drug systems to form alliances to keep children safe and support families by taking a realistic look at and approach to family recovery.
- Advocate for resources and provide valuable insights that those working within the systems may miss, and provide feedback on what is and is not working.
- Provide outreach and education to schools and faith-based organizations to form alliances with parents and those in the schools and faith-based organizations.
- Partner with communities to educate and form alliances to keep children safe and provide support to families.
- Create an environment within the systems of respect for every individual involved.
What is a Parent Partner?
Parent partners are parents who have been successful in past personal involvement with child welfare, juvenile courts and alcohol and other drug systems. Parent partners model healthy and responsible parenting. A Parent Partner Network is designed to promote parents helping parents by sharing their experiences, knowledge and by giving hope to parents involved in child in need of child protection services (CPS) cases. Through civic and community engagement, a Parent Partner shares in the leadership and responsibility of keeping children safe.
The purpose of a Parent Partner is to provide active, hands-on peer support to parents/caregivers of youth receiving services. Effective peer support should be friendly, helpful, accessible and flexible. Peer support may be delivered in individual or group settings at the agency, in family homes or in community environments. The role of the Parent Partner is to provide peer support but also to work collaboratively to support systems change by increasing family involvement and decreasing unintentional, bias about parents.
Parent partners believe in the power of their voice, the value of their experience and the willingness of systems to learn and change.
What wouldn’t a Parent Partner do?
- Parent Partners would not make recommendations to the Court during the juvenile child in need of protection or services court proceedings, unless specifically asked by the judge to do so.
- Parent Partners would not make formal written or verbal reports.
- Parent Partners would not be responsible for identifying and providing resources for families as it pertains to individual family case plans. (For example: child care, referral to treatment and services, evaluations and assessments, etc…)
- Parent Partners would not make recommendations to the child welfare case planning process, unless specifically asked by the worker to do so.
- Parent Partners would not provide direct social services to parents and their families.
- Parent Partners would not provide transportation for parents and their family members.
- Parent Partners would not conduct visitation or custody evaluations.
- Parent Partners would not arrange for the visitation of parents and their children.
- Parent Partners would not supervise visitation between parents and their children.
What might a Parent Partner do?
- Model and support success and recovery from alcohol and other drugs.
- Educate parents about systems’ requirements and help them to understand the court process and terminology associated with their case.
- Work only with the parent(s) they are assigned to by the Parent Partner Network.
- Help other parents stay accountable for their recovery.
- Provide support as the parent goes through what can be a very confusing and fearful time with the child protection system.
- Accompany parents to court hearings and meetings with the child welfare worker (if requested by parent).
- Provide education and support through example and friendship.
- Meet with the parent(s) at least once a week to celebrate successes, be a listening ear and provide other practical support components.
- Promote a healthy relationship with both biological parents when that is in the best interests of the children.
- Form and maintain relationships with various government entities to keep children safe and help families to recover from alcohol and other drug use.
- Provide civic leadership to educate and help engage the broader community to keep children safe.
- Promote the mission and objectives of the Parent Partner Network.