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Parent Peer Support

What Is A Parent Peer Support Provider?
Parent Peer Support Providers (PPSP) are primary caregivers* who can articulate lessons learned from his/her own lived experience parenting a child (youth or emerging adult) and has specialized training to assist and empower families raising children who experience emotional, developmental, behavioral, substance use  or mental health concerns. A Parent Support Provider partners with child and family serving systems to improve family outcomes and strives to eliminate stigma and discrimination.

*A primary caregiver is a person who is parenting or has parented a child, youth or emerging adult experiencing emotional, behavioral or mental health disorders and can articulate the understanding of their experience with another parent or family member. This person may be a birth parent, adoptive parent, foster parent or family member standing in for an absent parent or a person chosen by the family or youth to have the role of a parent or be able to articulate experiences based on parenting a child.

Why Are PPSP Important For Families With Children Or Youth Who Experience Behavioral Health Needs?
Family members benefit from support and assistance of another parent who has navigated service systems with their own child. In collaboration with clinical staff the PPSP provides support in reaching goals and enhancing capacity to provide for their child’s needs. Families have identified that as a result of services and supports from the PPSP, they feel more confident, better able to advocate for themselves and their child with professionals and feel more hopeful.

What Types of Services Are Offered By PPSP?
Parent Peer Support Providers may offer such services as:

  • Providing support and teaching advocacy skills to parents to participate actively in Individualized Education Planning meetings, Plan of Care meetings, child welfare and court hearings or other meetings pertaining to the child’s behavioral healthcare needs.
  • Conduct community outreach and engagement and identify family resources.
  • Model good communication skills, coaching in self-advocacy and provide support during home visits, telephone and email communications.
  • Promote wellness, trust and hope.
  • Assist family with identifying formal and informal supports.
  • Reduce isolation of family members.
  • Provide families with information, trainings and educational opportunities
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