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Family Support

Overview of Parent to Parent of New York State

Parent to Parent of NYS is a statewide not for profit organization with a mission to support and connect families of individuals with special needs. There are 9 offices located across NY, staffed by Regional Coordinators, who are parents or close relatives of individuals with special needs.

A Support Parent Network of over 1200 parents is the backbone of the Parent Matching Program which has been created and maintained by our Coordinators. This is a model program used across the country to put parents in touch on a one to one basis with other parents who have a child with a chronic illness or disability. “Support Parents” are parents of individuals with special needs who have made the offer to speak one to one with “new” parents and share their experiences. Support parents are the key to this program.

When parents make the offer to be Support Parents, they are provided a skills building training, which includes an overview of how the program works, an understanding of the stages and emotions a parent or caregiver may be experiencing, as well as listening skills. We welcome new parents to join the Support Parent network and to share their experience.

In addition to the Parent Matching program, staff field telephone calls from parents of children with special needs who are looking for resources, services and information. Calls range from parents looking for information about medical services, therapies to looking for information specifically about an illness or disability. There are often questions about special education.

Parent to Parent staff are available to help families gain an understanding of Home and Community Based Waiver Services, which are funded through NYS Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

Parent to Parent has received Federal funding to establish a Family to Family Health Care Information and Education Center for New York State. The organization joins twenty four other states that have received this designation. The objective is to provide information and training to families of children with special health care needs.

The organization is primarily funded by NYS Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and is governed by a board of directors with members from across the state. The board of directors is charged with setting policy and charting the direction of the organization.




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