(August 2015) | Useful to Parent Centers in identifying and using best practices in engaging families and establishing partnerships with the families they serve.

This webinar was a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsored webinar presented by the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health.

The world of family peer support is continuing to expand and the models for providing this support continue to emerge. As knowledge of family peer support continues to grow, a variety of programs, offering unique modalities and characteristics, have been developed, researched, and found to be effective. This webinar explored three nationally known programs:

Parent to Parent (P2P) – an evidence-based practice, has been a provider of emotional and informational support to families of children with special health care needs, disabilities, and mental health challenges. Support is provided by matching parents through a nationwide database that identifies a Support Parent as a resource for the family.

Parents Anonymous – an evidence-based family strengthening program, offers weekly support groups for parents and caregivers and separate groups for children and youth. This support is offered utilizing the theories of mutual support, parent leadership and shared leadership. Parents also receive support and resource information through a National Parent Helpline.

The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (NFFCMH) – provides parent peer support through a network of over 120 nationwide chapters. In 2012, NFFCMH launched a national certification for Parent Support Providers to provide standardization of the practices of family peers. Over 250 individuals in 35 states and the District of Columbia have been nationally certified. Currently, NFFCMH is collaborating with several states to develop reciprocity guidelines for state and national certification.

The leaders of these three, national organizations, Kathy Brill, MPS, Executive Director, Parent to Parent USA; Lisa Pion-Berlin, Ph.D., Executive Director, Parents Anonymous; Renee Mills, BS, RN, Program Supervisor, Parents Anonymous; and Lynda Gargan, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health presented on the evolution of family peer support, and how these three models are currently being implemented in communities across the country.

View and listen to the webinar recording here.