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Become a Parent Mentor
Next Parent Mentor Training is February 3, 2024

We need your expertise!!!

Are you a parent of a child with special healthcare needs and want to provide support to another parent or family? Do you remember when you first got your child's diagnosis? Who provided you with support? Remember how important and helpful that was? Consider becoming a volunteer parent mentor, your expertise is needed!



Who are Parent Mentors

They are parents or primary caregivers of a child/individual with special healthcare needs and the very reason behind the success of the Family Support Network's Parent to Parent Mentorship Program for decades They are volunteers who want to help other parents in situations similar to their own, by using their past experiences to reduce the feeling of isolation another parent may have.

Parents Mentors must:

  • You must be a parent or primary caregiver of a child/individual with a diagnosis

  • Reside in the state of North Carolina

  • Want to provide emotional support and information to other parents facing challenges similar to what you have gone through.

  • Must be able to complete the certified training required to become a parent mentor.


What do Parent Mentors do?

  • Provide emotional support and information to parents of children/individuals with special abilities or other special healthcare needs.

  • Provide a safe listening environment and offer a wealth of information to other parents (listening is priority)

  • Connect with other parents, either by telephone, email, and/or text message, and provide a kind of understanding that no one else can provide

  • Participate in "active listening" and provide an opportunity for openness in a non-judgmental environment. 

  • They DO NOT provide any form of medical advice, professional counselling, or legal advice (parent mentors are not doctors, therapist, or lawyers)

To Become a Parent Mentor


Family Support Network of North Carolina requires interested parents to participate in the Parent Mentor Orientation, which is a 3-5 hour group training orientation. FSN of Trusted Parents offers an annual training class for parents who would like to offer support to other families. Training includes communication and listening skills, understanding the adjustment process, confidentiality, and information about community resources. Parents who completes this training will be certified as a Trained Parent Mentors with Family Support Network of North Carolina and entered into their database of trained parents.


How long do a parent serve as a Parent Mentor?


There is no set expiration date to being a Parent Mentor; however, when a volunteer Parent Mentor is contacted about providing support for another family, the first question we ask is "are they able to provide support at this time?" The Parent Mentor can simply answer "No" and we will ask no further questions. 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 Parent Mentor Training Required?


Training is required because we want our parent mentors to be familiar with Family Support Network, Trusted Parents, and the Parent Mentor program, and to feel confident in being a volunteer representative of the organizations and fully understand their role and commitment to the program. Training also provide time for interested parent mentors to reflect on their own experiences as parents and to share their experiences with other potential parent mentors so that they can...

  • Recognize similarities in parenting experiences even though the children have different diagnoses, illnesses, or syndromes.

  • Learn about the different emotional states commonly experienced by parents of children with special needs.

  • Gain insight into what a family may experience even though they may have gone through a similar emotional state.

  • Develop communication and listening skills to help Parent Mentors use and share their personal experiences in an effective way.

  • Learn techniques to use when talking to a parent requesting a mentor including guidelines on how to make contact.

  • Gain information on what may happen when speaking with a parent.

  • Share a solid foundation of information about available community resources

  • Address the issue of Care for the Caregiver.

Contact us if you are interested in becoming a Parent Mentor

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