A Letter from the Executive Director
The celebration of a new year always brings with it thoughts of new beginnings. This is especially true for Parent to Parent of NYS as we enter 2014. We thank Janice Fitzgerald, our outgoing Executive Director for her leadership as we look forward to building upon the strong foundation that has been gifted to us.
Parent to Parent of NYS is a place where families of individuals with special needs and the professionals who serve them can meet and share information. This website is maintained as a resource for families. Our message to you remains unchanged: you are not alone. Employees at Parent to Parent of NYS and our volunteer network of Support Parents are here to help. We each have a child or relative with a developmental disability or special health care need and we know the difference being able to talk with another parent can make in dealing with emotions, navigating services, and finding family balance and hope.
If you are a parent who is in need of information and resources, we will help you. Please contact us with your questions by calling one of our offices or submitting a request via the website form. Consider using our parent-matching program, based on a national model of parent to parent support. Parents who are matched with a volunteer support parent and who have the opportunity to be heard as they work through the complicated emotional responses to raising a child with a disability are better equipped to advocate for their child and their family. If we cannot find a support parent within New York, our affiliation with Parent to Parent USA will allow us to try to locate someone in another state.
Our parent-matching program exists because there is a network of volunteer Support Parents who have offered to be listeners and to share their experiences. 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.
If you would like to build your advocacy skills and/or gain knowledge of service systems, we offer a variety of in-person workshop and web-based training opportunities. Check out our statewide and regional events listings on the website for current information.
There is a strength that comes from parents coming together to listen, support, and learn from each other. There is opportunity in building positive parent-professional partnerships to shape the systems of care that support our families and loved ones. It is these relationships that tell the full story of Parent to Parent of NYS. As we move into 2014, we thank you for being a part of our network, we seek to strengthen our relationship, and we welcome your feedback about how we can serve you better.