Parent To Parent of NYS


Overview of Parent to Parent of New York State

Parent to Parent of NYS, which began in 1994, is a statewide not for profit organization established to support and connect families of individuals with special needs. The 13 offices, located throughout NYS, are staffed by Regional Coordinators, who are parents or close relatives of individuals with special needs.

Parent to Parent of NYS is where families of individuals with special needs and the professionals who serve them can meet and share information.
We've walked the walk and are here to help other families:

  • Support – We offer parents/caregivers the opportunity to connect one-to-one with a parent/caregiver of an individual with the same or similar disability or special health care need – someone who has “been there.”
  • Information & Referral – We help families locate the information and services they need
  • Trainings – Workshop are available on Understanding Medicaid Service Coordination, Record Keeping and Using a Health Care Notebook, and various other topics.

The organization’s parent-matching program is based on a model program used across the country. We assist a parent, who has a child with a developmental disability and/or special health care needs, by locating a volunteer support parent who has a similar experience. When a family initially receives a diagnosis, the emotional response can be overwhelming. Talking with another parent is an excellent resource with helping come to terms with emotional acceptance. . You are not alone. (See Emotions and Disability ) (Spanish Version)

The parent-matching program exists because there is a network of volunteer support parents who have offered to be listeners and to share their experiences. A Support Parent Network of over 1200 parents is the backbone of the Parent Matching Program which has been created and maintained by the Regional Coordinators. This is a model program used across the country to put parents in touch on a one to one basis with other parents who have a child with a chronic illness or disability. “Support Parents” are parents of individuals with special needs who have made the offer to speak one to one with “new” parents and share their experiences. Support parents are the key to this program. Consider offering your support and help make a difference for someone else by becoming a Support Parent. It is a great way to volunteer that does not require a large time commitment.

Do you need help? Are you in need of information and resources? In addition to the Parent Matching program, staff field telephone calls from parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs who are looking for resources, services and information. Calls range from parents looking for information about medical services and therapies to looking for information specifically about an illness or disability. There are often questions about special education.

We will try to help you. Please contact us with your questions. We may not have all the answers but we can help you try to locate answers. Consider using our parent-matching program. If we cannot find a parent within New York, we will try to locate someone in another state. Contact us at one of the regional offices or submit a request via the website.

Our Mission

Parent to Parent of New York State builds a supportive network of families to reduce isolation and empower those who care for people with developmental disabilities or special healthcare needs to navigate and influence service systems and make informed decisions. 

Michele Juda, Executive Director of Parent to Parent on NYS, joined Phil Bayly, anchor of News Channel 13 (WNYT) and host of Forum 13, on June 25, 2017, for a  discussion about Parent to Parent of NYS' Parent Matching program.

Our Vision

As a statewide network of parents who provide emotional support to families of individuals with special needs, we believe in the power of parents and family members helping each other. We believe that this connection among parents and family members reduces isolation, increases acceptance, and fosters the pursuit of dreams through the sharing of experience and information.