Two National Groups Support Parents Raising Children with Disabilities, Chronic Health Conditions

Developing the National Grassroots Network for Parent to Parent and Family Support

From November 2002 through January 2005 an advisory team comprised of statewide directors of Parent to Parent programs, representing the national Parent to Parent movement, and staff from the Grassroots Consortium on Disabilities, investigated the possibility of creating a formal partnership between the Parent to Parent movement and the Grassroots Consortium on Disabilities.

The Parent to Parent network and the Grassroots Consortium on Disabilities, Houston, are organizations that provide support to families with children with disabilities or serious chronic health conditions.

Although the two organizations were unable to formalize their partnership, they each used the funds to strengthen their individual organizations.

Key Results

Parent to Parent:

  • Formalized an alliance of statewide Parent to Parent programs across the country, calling it Parent to Parent USA, and designed an infrastructure for the alliance.
    • It offers networking and peer mentoring.
    • The formal alliance is able to match parents in need of support with another parent within 24–48 hours.
    • It also provides leadership and technical assistance to established and emerging programs.
  • Developed a Web site that provides background information about the Parent to Parent USA mission and history, research articles, detailed information, and links to statewide Parent to Parent programs.
  • Developed a series of electronic-mail listservs that facilitate communication between Parent to Parent volunteers and program participants.

The Grassroots Consortium on Disabilities:

  • Held two leadership retreats designed to strengthen the organizational structure of the national network.
  • Developed a Web site which describes the Grassroots Consortium on Disabilities' mission and history and provides a listing of consortium members, along with links to their individual Web sites.

Project Management

Parent to Parent of Vermont oversaw the project.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this planning project with a $100,000 grant between October 2002 and January 2005.