Parent Advocates: Providing Help and Hope to Parents / Caregivers of Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Challenges
- Who they Are. Family peer advocates (FPA) are usually parents or caregivers themselves of children with significant behavioral, emotional, or mental health needs. Using this 'lived experience," parent advocates provide a wide range of services to other parents of children with mental health needs, including emotional support, information about mental health services, and direct advocacy. Click here for more information on services provided by parent advocates.
- Where they Work. Parent advocates work in a variety of service settings, including state and local organizations, and more recently, on community-based crisis teams (e.g. MA), in partnership will all service systems. Parent advocates can be paid employees whose services are billable under Medicaid (NY), or volunteers (Ohio). Click on each state to see the work of Parent Partners in New York and Ohio.
- Why their work is Important. Providing peer support to parents of children with mental health needs is critical, as parents often report high levels of stress and strain in managing their child's mental health needs, which affects their ability to access needed services for their child.