When Chris first contacted the Parent Assistance Center (PAC) at Family Involvement Center, he was feeling hopeless. After battling a serious illness, Chris found himself homeless and unemployed. Chris and the mother of his youngest child were no longer together and he had become a full-time single father to his three year old son. Chris noticed his son displaying behaviors that were concerning him. When he first called, Chris was looking for help with basic needs (housing and employment) as well as resources to help him learn more about his son’s emotional and behavioral health.
Chris connected right away, as many parents do, with the staff member he spoke with at PAC. PAC staff members, or Parent Partners, are parent-to-parent support professionals who have their own lived experience raising children with emotional, physical and behavioral health care needs. Chris found that, in addition to being knowledgeable, they were also understanding and compassionate.
Chris made strong connections at PAC where he also learned about resources that could help him address his son’s and his own needs. Through the help and support he received from our Parent Partners, Chris was able to obtain employment as well as a stable living environment. He was also able to access behavioral health and medical resources that led to his son’s early diagnosis of Autism. His three year old was subsequently enrolled in community early intervention classes and Chris began receiving the support and education he required to address his son’s needs. Chris also joined FIC’s Parent Empowerment Group in order to gain additional training and support. There Chris has been able to connect with other parents and build an informal support network to lean on.
Chris’ success story demonstrates the power of Parent-to-Parent support to assist parents and caregivers in their journey to becoming self-reliant, effective advocates for their children. He is one of the many parents we have been (and continue to be) happy to assist in their journey raising children with emotional, physical and behavioral health care needs.
Parents Helping Parents: It’s Who We Are and What We Do