Maryland Coalition of Families is partnering with the state’s Social Services Administration (SSA) to offer Parent Partners, a pilot program in Washington County to support families involved with child welfare.
Parent Partners have been used in other states across the country to help create successful outcomes for families. In this model, parents who become involved with child welfare are offered an opportunity to work with a Parent Partner — another parent who has lived experience with the child welfare system that resulted in a successful case closure. This model aligns with MCF’s approach to helping families by using peer support.
Upon contact with the child welfare system, parents will be given the option of participating in the program. If they agree, they will be connected with the Washington County Parent Partner. Services provided by the Parent Partner include emotional support to the caregiver, assistance with linkages to resources, and assistance navigating the child welfare, education and behavioral health care systems. In addition, the MCF Parent Partner will offer access to training opportunities, connection with other families having similar experiences, connection to resources to address the parent’s own needs (such as substance use treatment), and most importantly, the Parent Partner will provide one-to-one, non- judgmental peer support. Parent Partner services are free, confidential and are not time limited. Parents can continue to receive support from MCF even after their child welfare case has closed.
It is anticipated that this pilot will be launched mid-summer. For more information contact Sandy Yetkin, [email protected], at the Maryland Coalition of Families or Shana Matthews, [email protected], at the Washington County Department of Social Services.