Parent Mentor Program

The Parent Mentor Program (PMP) was created to provide families with individualized peer support and information to foster learning and independence. There are two components to this program:
Parent Matching and Parent Mentor Volunteers


Parent Matching

Parents or guardians of children with special needs can be matched with a trained volunteer Parent Mentor who can provide one-on-one peer support and information. When a family expresses an interest in having a Parent Mentor to either a Family Resource Specialist or Social Worker, the family is referred to the Parent Mentor Program. The Parent Mentor Coordinator will contact the family, explain the program, and find out what the family is looking for in a mentor. After obtaining a thorough understanding of the family’s needs and preferences, the Coordinator will try to match the parent with an appropriate volunteer from Support for Family’s pool of trained mentors.

Matches are based on the needs expressed by the family and may be based on the child’s diagnosis, shared language or culture, or a particular concern. Regardless of preference, each family determines the kind of mentor they need. Because families often have multiple needs, more than one mentor may be assigned.

Once a match has been made, the Coordinator will check in with each periodically with both the family and the mentor(s).

For more information about obtaining a mentor, please call our Phoneline at
(415) 920-5040.


Parent Mentor Volunteers

Are you a parent or guardian of a child with special needs and is active in your community and want to provide support to other families? Consider becoming a Parent Mentor volunteer.

Parent Mentors provide peer-to-peer support to other families with similar experience. Parent Mentors will get the opportunity to participate on Parent Panels, assist in outreach events, and participate in interviews, such as media or student research papers. If selected to become a Parent Mentor, volunteers must participate in the Parent-to-Parent (P2P) training that introduces families to mentoring methods, information, and resources. In addition, volunteers can also attend the Special Education Series, an extensive 8-month long program where they will receive training to get a better understanding of the special education system.

Requirements: Must be a parent or guardian of a child with special needs or disability. Attend a Parent-to-Parent (P2P) training in June OR December. Option to attend the Special Education Series which runs from September through May (skipping December).


How to Apply

Please contact one of our Parent Mentor Program Coordinators:

English PMP: Joan Selby
jselby@supportforfamiles.org, 415-282-7494 x113

Spanish PMP: JoAnna VanBrusselen
jvanbrusselen@supportforfamilies.org, 415-282-7494, ext. 141

For more information about obtaining a mentor, or becoming a mentor volunteer, please call the Warmline at (415) 920-5040.


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