Quality Mall Product: Parent to Parent -- A National Network of Parent Support Programs
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Product Information Parent to Parent -- A National Network of Parent Support Programs

Highlights   Full Description   How to Obtain/Whom to Call   Web Links  
 Full Description: 
Parent to Parent programs provide emotional and informational support to parents of children who have special needs. To provide this support, trained and experienced veteran parents are carefully matched in 1-1 relationships with parents who are newly referred to the program. Because they have shared the experience of disability in the family, the veteran parent is often able to provide a unique form of support that only another parent who has "been there" can.

In response to requests from parents and program directors of Parent to Parent programs for efficacy data concerning Parent to Parent, a participatory action research team of parents and researchers conducted a 3-year national study to determine the effectiveness of Parent to Parent support for referred parents. The results indicate that Parent to Parent increases parents' acceptance of their situation and their sense of being able to cope. Parent to Parent support helps parents to make progress on the need they present when they first contact a Parent to Parent program, and over 80% of the parents found Parent to Parent support to be helpful. Interviews with parents suggest that the kind of support Parent to Parent offers is unique and cannot come from any other source.

While there is no national Parent to Parent organization, Parent to Parent programs and families connect with each other at the International Parent to Parent Conference every other year. Attendance at the conferences has grown from fewer than 100 to over 1100 parents, children and young adults with disabilities, and service providers, all of whom are closely involved in Parent to Parent programs in their home communities. Parent to Parent conferences are international and multi-cultural in their focus, with attendees from around the world.

The Parent to Parent network is a growing national resource for families who have a child with special needs, Click on the "Web Links" tab above to go to a map that shares contact information for groups around the United States. Local community-based programs continue to emerge out of grassroots efforts; new statewide Parent to Parent programs are being developed to support the efforts of local programs; national needs are being addressed as they arise; and international interest in Parent to Parent is growing every year. The strength of Parent to Parent comes directly from the parents who dedicate themselves to its continuing success. Research shows that Parent to Parent makes a significant difference for parents who are matched with a supporting parent.
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This web site is maintained by the Research and Training Center on Community Living with support from the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Human Services Research Institute and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. E-mail weste050@umn.edu.
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