Trusted Parents


 "We seek to meet the needs of parents caring for children with disabilities." 

Next Training Class September 23, 2017

Become a Trusted Support Parent

Family Support NetworkTM of Trusted Parents offers an annual training class for parents who would like to offer support to other families. Parents are trained by attending an group training session. Training includes communication and listening skills, understanding the adjustment process, confidentiality and information about community resources. Parents who complete this training will be certified as an Trained Support Parent with Family Support Network of North Carolina.

Support Parents
The parents who offer to speak to other families are referred to as Support Parents.
Through our parent-to-parent matching program, we offer parents and other caregivers the opportunity to connect one-to-one with a parent or caregiver of an individual with the same or similar disability or special health care need, someone who has "been there". Generally, parent to parent support is via telephone conversations between parents.

Support Parents' are the key support to families of individuals with disabilities or special health care needs. Support Parents are the foundation of our Parent Matching Program.

If you would like to become a Support Parent, please fill out the registration form 

Registration Form

Support Parent Requirements
  •  You must be a parent or primary caregiver of an individual with special needs
  •  Reside in the state of North Carolina
  • You want to provide emotional support and information to other families facing challenges similar to what you have experienced.
  •  You must complete the certified training program
What do Support Parents' do?
  •  Support Parents provide emotional support and information to families of individuals with disabilities or other special needs.
  •  Support Parents provides a safe listening environment and can be a wealth of information to other families (listening is the priority).
  • Support Parents connect with other families, either by telephone or by e-mail, and provide a kind of understanding that no one else can provide.
  • Support Parents participate in "active listening" and provide an opportunity for openness in a non-judgmental relationship.
  • Support Parents DO NOT provide any form of medical advice, professional counseling, or legal advice (you are not doctors, therapist, or lawyers).
Who is a Support Parent?
A Support Parent is a parent or primary caregiver of an individual with a disability or special health care needs who resides in North Carolina. They are volunteers who want to help other families in situations similar to their own, usually by telephone. A Support Parent is a person who wants to reduce feelings of isolation for other families and allow them to benefit from their experiences.
How to become a Support Parent?
Support Parent must complete Training (approximately 4 hours)
After completing the Support Parent Family Information Form, parents wishing to become a Support Parent will be enrolled in the Trusted Support Parent Training.
How long do a parent serve as a Support Parent?
There is no set expiration date to being a Support Parent; however, when a volunteer Support Parent is contacted about providing support for another family, the first question we ask is "are they able to provide support at this time?" The Support Parent can simply answer "No" and we will not ask any further questions. We can temporarily remove a Support Parent from our active contact list until they let us know they are again ready to support other parents. Likewise, we can permanently remove any Support Parent from our active contact list when requested by a Support Parent. We do not require volunteers Support Parents to serve any particular length of time. We are a network of special needs families and because of this; each of us, volunteers and staff, have to attend to our family's needs first and foremost.
Why is Support Parent Training required? 
1.     Familiarize parents with Family Support Network of Trusted Parents and our Parent Support program, so that they feel confident in being a volunteer representative of the organization and fully understand the role and commitment of being a Support Parent.
2.    Provide time for Support Parents to reflect on their own experiences as parents and, in group trainings, share experiences with other parents so that the newly recruited Support Parents can.
  1.  Recognize similarities in parenting experiences even though the children have different disabilities, illnesses, or syndromes.
  2. Learn about the different emotional states commonly experienced by parents of children with special needs.
  3.  Gain insight into what a family may be experiences even though you may have gone through a similar emotional state.
    3. Develop communication and listening skills to help Support Parents use and share their personal experiences in effective way. 
  • Learn techniques to use when talking to a referral parent including guidelines for telephone contact.
  • Gain information on what may happen when you speak with a referral parent.
    4. Share a solid foundation of information about available community resources
    5. Address the issue of Care for the Caregiver.
If you would like to become a Support Parent, please complete our Support Parent Family Information and Registration Form.