Parent to Parent (P2P) is a promising practice shown to be an effective intervention for our target population. P2P has been researched in numerous studies ranging from topical discussions to random control trials. The largest random control study, conducted by the Beach Center on Disabilities at the University of Kansas in 1999, determined P2P to be an effective strategy for working specifically with parents of children with a wide range of disabilities. P2P programs impact Parental Acceptance, Parental Coping and Family Empowerment. The study further recognized that P2P support “offers a unique form of assistance that is not typically met by the formal service system.”
Family Support Programs (FSP) and their Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework each have growing evidence to show effectiveness as prevention strategies by building on the strengths of families to empower parents to care for their children. The National Evaluation of Family Support Programs showed that family support programs were effective in developing parents’ skills, including self-confidence, empowerment, family management and parenting. The findings stated that programs that provided opportunities for peer parent support, as we do, had greater effects on parent attitudes and knowledge. Further, Family Support Programs that focused on providing services to parents of children with special needs, as we do, had an average effect size three times greater than the programs that did not have this focus.