Help for Parents and Caregivers

Our trained staff, who themselves have cared for a child with mental health, substance use and/or other behavioral health challenges, are here for you.

One-to-one support for your family is available through an MCF Family Peer Support Specialist. A Family Peer Support Specialist is a parent who has cared for a child with mental health, substance use and/or other behavioral health challenges and has been trained to help other families. They know about the services in Maryland and in their community, and how to apply for them.

A Family Peer Support Specialist can:

  • Help to navigate services and systems
  • Listen to concerns
  • Attend meetings with the family
  • Assist with completing forms
  • Explain rights
  • Make connections to appropriate services
  • Provide learning opportunities
  • Provide opportunities to meet others

Examples of services and resources that Family Peer Support Specialist can help parents and caregivers access include:

  • Special education advocacy
  • Parent support groups
  • Behavioral health services
  • Parent education/leadership training
  • In-home behavioral support
  • Evaluation and assessment services
  • Child care resources

MCF Family Peer Support Specialists who have personal experience as a parent or caregiver of a young person with substance use challenges can also help you to:

  • Access evaluation, assessment and treatment services
  • Find recovery services and supports
  • Understand insurance coverage
  • Know your rights as a parent or caregiver
  • Connect to other families dealing with similar challenges
  • Access mental health services
  • Learn about the continuum of services and supports available within the judicial system 

Any parent or caregiver can call a Family Peer Support Specialist to request assistance for their child or young adult with mental health, substance use and/or other behavioral health challenges. There is no cost for services.

Find a Family Peer Support Specialist in your community.

Find Now

Family Peer Support is offered through contracts for Family Navigation in some jurisdictions. Meet MCF's funders.

Additional services may be available through the 1915i and Targeted Case Management. Contact your Care Coordination Organization or Core Service Agency to learn more.  

"I was connected to a wonderful [MCF staff member]…We were able to get the placement and intensive treatment we needed…We are a totally different family now. It has been the most healing and powerful experience."

— Mary, mother of three

"It was comforting when I finally found an [MCF staff member] who could help me get through the process and to find services for my child who desperately needed them—and they didn't judge me. They made me feel like what I was going through was okay."

— Robyn, caregiver

"I’m happy I finally have some help with my IEP and get to understand it."

— Caregiver