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Module 2: How does Family Connections work?

How Does Family Connections work?

  • CPAC’s Family Connections connects Connecticut parents of children with developmental delays or disabilities enrolled in Birth to Three with experienced parents who will provide empathetic listening on a one to one basis for a determined period of time no longer than eight weeks (in the case that the child turns three before the eight weeks, the connection should end right before the child turns three).
  • Parents are referred to the program through Birth to Three agencies across the state of Connecticut, social workers, case managers, word of mouth, or self-referred
  • The Family Connections coordinator facilitates connections by matching parents with trained supportive parents who can provide empathetic listening and emotional support. Typically, parent mentors are further along in their journey with their child and have received services through Birth to Three as well.Matches are based on the needs of the family and may include the following criteria:
    • Child’s areas of concern and/or disability
    • Preferences of the mentor and parent
    • Gender
    • Commonly shared values
    • Parent mentor experience and qualifications
    • Age of the child
    • Geographic proximity
    • Language/cultural background
    • Family structure

The Family Connections coordinator identifies the match and asks that the parent mentor connect with the parent mentee within 24-48 hours. Immediacy of the initial phone call is crucial to a successful match. In most instances, the success of establishing a connection depends on the ability of the parent mentor to connect/respond with immediacy.  This action expresses and reinforces a positive desire and willingness to communicate immediately and this is highly valued by parent mentees who in return are willing to set priority to the match.

Parent mentors and parent mentees decide together how much contact will work for both. Contact can be made via email or via phone and a monthly record support form is provided in your mentor training packet, which you will receive in the mail. Monthly record support forms are very important. They serve as a record of your efforts and they will aid our program coordinator in determining what types of needs are more pressing for our parent mentees. You are responsible for filling them out and sending them to the Family Connections Coordinator.

Please watch the following video: How does parent to parent work?


Video from Delta Gama Center for Children with Visual Impairments

 

Continue to Module 3

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