I recently traveled to Arizona’s Maricopa County to launch the Parents for Parents program to help more children who have entered the foster care system reunite with their parents.
As a mom who has navigated the child welfare system, I am honored to be a part of Children’s Home Society of Washington’s efforts to expand this remarkable program to other states to increase the likelihood of reunification and decrease the number of children in the foster care system.
Children’s Home Society of Washington believes in supporting children and families who have entered the public child welfare system so they can fully realize their potential. Whenever possible, we work to reunite parents and their children as quickly as possible and provide them the tools they need to be successful.
Through the Parents for Parents program, parents who have successfully navigated the child welfare system provide outreach and support to parents who have recently become engaged with the dependency system.
The mentoring program provides much needed informal support and ongoing contact for parents so they have a roadmap to reuniting with their children. Parent allies share their experience with the child welfare system and host a Dependency 101 class that includes success stories and information and resources.
Parent allies in the Parents for Parents program also benefit by receiving leadership training and are also given a gateway to employment opportunities as they provide support, knowledge and mentoring to parents new to the system.
For more information on starting a Parents for Parents program in your state, you can contact me at 206-695-3215 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alise Hegle is an advocacy lead for Children's Home Society of Washington.