Parent partner mentoring programs are an innovative strategy for child welfare agencies to engage families in case planning and service delivery. These programs recruit and train parents who have been involved in the system and have successfully resolved identified child abuse or neglect issues to work with families with current open cases in the child welfare system. Parent partner mentors can provide social and emotional support, advocacy, and practical advice for navigating this challenging system. Insofar as parent partners share similar experiences, and cultural and socioeconomic characteristics of families, they may be more successful in engaging families and building trusting supportive relationships. The current study presents qualitative data from interviews and case studies of families who were matched with a parent partner in a large county in a Midwestern state. Interviews with families, parent partner mentors, child welfare agency staff, and community partners and providers suggest that parent partner programs may be just as beneficial for parent partner mentors as they are for families being mentored. These programs can build professional skills, help improve self-esteem, provide an avenue for social support, and may potentially prevent recidivism. Parent Partner programs also provide a mechanism for amplifying family voice at all levels of the agency.
Leake, Robin; Longworth-Reed, Laricia; Williams, Natalie; and Potter, Cathryn
"Exploring the Benefits of a Parent Partner Mentoring Program in Child Welfare,"
Journal of Family Strengths:
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/jfs/vol12/iss1/6