Parents for Parents
Parents for Parents is a peer mentor support program for parents currently involved in dependency through the child welfare system. P4P is made up of Parent Allies that have all previously had their own child welfare involvement and had successful resolution. We are here to provide support and education from an experienced place to help parents feel supported and encouraged. We also provide a model of hope to help parents see that reunification is possible.
A Message from our Program Coordinator, Nichol Welch
My name is Nichol Welch, and I have been with Parents for Parents since 2019. I started out as a Parent Ally volunteer, and then I became the program coordinator for Grant, Adams, and Kittitas Counties in 2020, later also adding Yakima and Klickitat Counties. I am in this role because I had a dependency case begin in 2008 and had successful reunification the following year. I am passionate about my role for many reasons. I really could've used support and guidance when I was in parents' shoes years ago, having someone listen to me, care about my position, offer education and support, and cheer me on as I made my way through the child welfare system. I'm excited to be there and potentially make that difference for others in the ways I needed.
Since my dependency case was dismissed, I worked my way up from entry-level jobs through the years to gain professional job experience, maintain a stable family, and I earned a bachelor's degree in human services. I am motivated, driven, and compassionate, and I am passionate about helping others. Through all of this, I always want to be a source of hope for families. I want for families to see examples like myself with P4P and know that they can have life after dependency as well.
Monday: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Tuesday: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Wednesday: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Thursday: 11:30 am-4:00 pm
Friday: 12:00 pm-4:00 pm
Why is Parents for Parents Important?
Parents for Parents increases the well-being of children in foster care as their parents
receive peer mentoring that*:
• Encourages their positive engagement with child welfare stakeholders
• Increases their compliance with court ordered services
• Increases their engagement in the juvenile dependency court process
*Reference ~ National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges: Parents for Parents
Outcome Evaluation; Reno, NV, 2011 and 2013)
Trauma to children is reduced as parents overcome the issues leading to their child’s
dependency, establish stable homes, and safely reunify with their children.
Parents for Parents Program Components
I) shelter care hearing outreach pas meet with parents in the courthouse at their first hearing after the filing of a petition by child protection services. Parents are terrified, confused, angry and alone. The pa introduces him/herself as someone who was once in the parents shoes and got their kids back. This gives parents someone they can relate to and offers them hope that reunification is possible. This, in turn, helps diffuse negative attitudes, and encourages parents to be open-minded and engage in the process. Pas also share information about available resources and invite parents to a dependency 101 class.
Ii) dependency 101 - this one-time, two-hour, pa-led class educates parents about the dependency system they must navigate to have their children returned. It provides tools and resources that empower parents to be successful and to understand and support the needs of their children. Several pas share their success stories, and child welfare system stakeholders provide information about their roles and what parents can do to succeed. All speakers reinforce the message that return of the child is everyones top priority.
Iii) on-going support - pas support parents attending additional dependency hearings, providing them with follow-up support and encouragement. Telephone support is given to assist and encourage parents to overcome barriers to success in their case.
• P4P Homepage: https://www.childrenshomesociety.org/parentsforparents
• For more information, please contact Ambrosia Eberhardt, Statewide Family Impact Manager, Children’s Home Society of Washington
Email: Ambrosia.Eberhardt@chs-wa.org Phone: (509) 310.3020