Our Family Support Consultants offer peer parent matches to parents who have children, youth or adults with special needs, and have concerns they want to share with another parent.
A Family Support Consultant connects a Referred Parent (one asking for a match) with a Supporting Parent (one who has similar experiences and is trained to provide empathic listening and support). Sometimes a Potential Supporting Parent, one who has not attended training yet, but has offered to support and share information, will be the best match. Matches are made based on the self-identified needs of the parent.
Concerns have included relocation to Vermont, experience with local school districts, challenges with education or medical systems, a child’s new diagnosis, teen transition challenges, mental health and behavioral issues, sibling concerns, surgery, medical treatments or out-of-state treatments. Knowing other parents have experienced similar emotions, challenges and joys eases the referred parent’s adjustment to new circumstances.
Parents have said that this is an invaluable gift to a family needing the understanding and support of another family who has had similar experiences, diagnosis, treatment, and emotional responses to having a child, youth, or adult with special needs. A few phone calls lets the family know they are not alone. It is a safe and confidential opportunity to share our thoughts and feelings with someone else who has been there.
One parent said, “We may not have answers, but we can hold hands and give each other courage.”