Texas Department of State Health Services' Children with Special Health Care Needs Program Contract, Federal Maternal Child Health Bureau Family to Family Health Information Center Grant, and private donations
“Talking to other parents who really know what it is like, really can understand – even if their situation isn’t exactly the same. They can understand the day-to-day struggle of how am I going to manage my child and relationship and take care of myself and get everything I need. It is completely different when you’re talking to another parent than when you’re talking to a professional.””
-Kim Arnold, Parent
Parents who have children with disabilities, chronic illnesses or other special health care needs find out about their child’s condition in many different ways and at many different times. However, they all experience the same emotions, in varying degrees, to the news. Parents feel isolated and overwhelmed with a mixture of shock, panic, denial, fear, guilt, sadness, depression, anger, and anxiety.
Having a child with special health care needs sets parents on a different journey than the one that was originally expected. Fortunately, many parents have “gone before” and can be a source of strength, hope, direction, and help. Peer support is the heart of Texas Parent to Parent’s (TxP2P) service to parents so that a parent never need feel alone or isolated again. (See research on this support model or read some success stories about other families.)
A parent match specifically connects the requesting parent with an experienced, supporting parent who can:
- help with problem-solving,
- listen to you and truly understand your circumstances,
- offer emotional support,
- provide information about the disability, illness or special health care need,
- connect you to community resources,
- give first-hand experience about caring for and parenting a child with special health care needs, and
- make referrals to other agencies who may make your life a little easier.
Parent-to-parent matching is available to any parent who requests it, providing that a suitable match can be found. If a match cannot be found in Texas, TxP2P staff support the parent while looking for a match with our 33 sister statewide parent-to-parent programs. If you would like to request a “Parent Match”, complete our online Parent Matching form so we can better assist you. If you have questions about a parent match, please contact Susan, Patty, or Rosalba by contacting the office at 866-896-6001. If you have any questions about Parent to Parent USA or the other statewide programs, contact Laura Warren at Laura@TxP2P.org or visit www.p2pusa.org.