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

Next Training Class: Saturday, November 7, 2020

Become a Trusted Mentor 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.

Mentor Parents
 Parents who offer to speak to other families are referred to as Mentor 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 email or telephone conversations between parents.

Mentor Parents' are the key support to families of individuals with special healthcare needs. Mentor Parents are the foundation of our Parent Matching Program.

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

Registration Form

Mentor 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 Mentor Parents' do?
  •  Mentor Parents provide emotional support and information to families of individuals with disabilities or other special needs.
  •  Mentor Parents provides a safe listening environment and can be a wealth of information to other families (listening is the priority).
  • Mentor Parents connect with other families, either by telephone or by e-mail, and provide a kind of understanding that no one else can provide.
  • Mentor Parents participate in "active listening" and provide an opportunity for openness in a non-judgmental relationship.
  • Mentor Parents DO NOT provide any form of medical advice, professional counseling, or legal advice (you are not doctors, therapist, or lawyers).
Who is a Mentor Parent?
A Mentor Parent is a parent or primary caregiver of an child/individual with special healthcare 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 Mentor 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 Mentor Parent?
Mentor Parent must complete Training (approximately 5 hours)
After completing the Family Information Form, parents wishing to become a Mentor Parents will be enrolled in the Trusted Mentor Parent Training.
How long do a parent serve as a Mentor Parent?
There is no set expiration date to being a Support Parent; however, when a volunteer Mentor 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 Mentor Parent can simply answer "No" and we will not ask any further questions. We can temporarily remove a Mentor Parent from our active contact list until they let us know they are ready again to support other parents. Likewise, we can permanently remove any Mentor Parent from our active contact list when requested by the Mentor Parent. We do not require volunteers Mentor 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 Mentor Parent Training required? 
1.     Familiarize parents with Family Support Network of Trusted Parents and our Parent Mentor program, so that they feel confident in being a volunteer representative of the organization and fully understand the role and commitment of being a Mentor Parent.
2.    Provide time for Mentor Parents to reflect on their own experiences as parents and, in group trainings, share experiences with other parents so that the newly recruited Mentor 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 Mentor Parent Family Information and Registration Form.