“The Contra Costa County Parent Partner Program is the result of a visionary partnership between Children and Family Services and the Child Abuse Prevention Council. This program was designed to enlist as staff parents (both mothers and fathers) who have experienced child removal, services and reunification to work with parents currently involved in the system. The Parent Partners are trained and supported to provide direct services to parent clients seeking reunification with their children. This program encourages Parent Partners to serve as mentors, guides and advocates. Parent Partners can be flexible in the roles they play and in responding to a range of needs parent clients might present. The principal goal of their work is to help parent clients gain awareness of their rights and responsibilities, and to assist parents toward reunification with their children. Parent Partners carry out their roles in three distinct ways.”
- Parent Leaders – Parent Partners serve as the “parents’ voice” as participants on various committees and workgroups.
- Parent Advocates – Parent Partners mentor parents currently involved in the system.
- Parent Trainers – Parent Partners provide training to parents, as well as to various professional and non-professional groups.
The Parent Partner Program is committed to helping families develop supportive relationships and enhance their abilities to draw on family strengths and resources in order to facilitate timely permanency for their children.”
- Parents Receive – Parent Handbook – Navigating the System One Day at a Time and Navigating the Child Welfare System Training to anyone
“….at the conclusion of the SOC grant, the data showed that having a parent partner increased reunification by about 50 percent and reduced recidivism by about 50 percent. The parent partner program has improved our outcomes in these two areas while helping parents to feel heard, respected, and included in case planning. It is a model that worked 10 years ago, and is still working today to achieve permanency for the children of Contra Costa County.” —Judi Knittel, Family Engagement Unit supervisor, Contra Costa County
The Youth Partner Program supports youth involved with Contra Costa County – Children & Family Services from ages 10-21. Youth Partners have lived and experienced life in foster care. They now work to strengthen, empower, and positively impact the lives of youth by providing peer-to-peer support through mentorship, guidance, and advocacy.