Parent Support Partner Program


As part of the Early Childhood Behavioral Health Initiative, the Health Department launched the Parent Support Partner Program, which provides parent support to families regardless of income or insurance status.

What is a Parent Support Partner?

A Parent Support Partner is the peer-parent of a child with emotional, behavioral, or other mental health challenges. The Parent Support Partner has overcome challenges and obstacles to provide his/her own child with a positive, supportive environment and is therefore uniquely equipped to help other parents in similar situations.

Doctors, therapists, teachers and other professionals offer many important services, but they often look at your family from a "clinical" standpoint. A Parent Support Partner knows what you're going through, because they have gone through it themselves.

Signs that a child may have behavioral health concerns:

Infant:

› Resists holding
› Is difficult to comfort
› Has sleeping or eating problems
› Rarely seeks or makes eye contact
› Doesn't seem to respond when people try to interact with her
› Shows any loss of language/social skills

Toddler/Preschooler:

› Shows little or no preference for any one adult
› Shows no fear of strangers
› Appears very irritable or fearful
› Lacks interest in other people or playthings
› Has extreme and frequent tantrums
› Often appears sad or withdrawn
› Shows any loss of language or social skills

Your Parent Support Partner may:

› Listen to your story.
› Help you identify and access services for your family.
› Accompany you to meetings at school, with doctors, or other meetings you're concerned about.
› Teach you how to effectively communicate with the agencies in your life to help obtain the services you need for you and your family.

This program is offered to parents of children 0-5 in Charlevoix, Emmet and northern Antrim counties through Health Department of Northwest Michigan with support from:

› Frey Foundation
› Charlevoix County Community Foundation
› Char-Em United Way
› Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation

Call (800) 432-4121 for more information.