Microsoft Word – Press Release_Parent to Parent.docx
Tulsa, OK – Circle of Care, a faith-based nonprofit organization that has been working with children and families in crisis in Oklahoma for 106 years, has launched a groundbreaking project offering hope to parents working toward reunification with their children.
Parent to Parent is an innovative program that provides peer mentoring to parents whose children have been placed in foster care. The program, established as a pilot in 2022 through grants provided from the Arnall Family Foundation and the Oklahoma Methodist Foundation, is one of only a handful of similar programs in the United States. In this model, Parent to Parent mentors – individuals with lived experience that have interfaced with the Department of Human Services and have had their own child(ren) in out of home placement – assist parents who are currently attempting to navigate the child welfare system to regain custody of their children.
Mentors are selected specifically for their lived experience navigating the child welfare system, often making difficult and significant changes in their lives to better the lives of their children. This experience positions them to provide unique support for parents that are involved with the Department of Human Services. Research into a similar program in Iowa and in this pilot in Oklahoma shows that this approach has the capacity to increase family reunifications and decrease the time a child spends in foster care.
“We are excited about the growth of Parent to Parent,” said Keith Howard, Circle of Care President and CEO. “As the private leader in foster care services across Oklahoma, it is our heart and passion to continue to push further upstream and holistically serve Oklahoma’s children and families. Not only does this model provide great outcomes, but it also elevates lived experience, taking what might have been an incredibly shameful part of someone’s story and redeeming it to be the message, wisdom and experience that helps someone else.”
For more information about Parent to Parent, visit the link below.