Michigan’s Parent Support Partner Project is a Statewide Initiative in partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that provides Medicaid reimbursable peer-to-peer parent support to eligible families as a part of Michigan’s Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment State Plan.
ACMH is the Statewide Coordinator & Training Partner for the project and provides certification, training and ongoing coaching, supervision, support and technical assistance.
The Parent Support Partner (PSP) service is an intervention-based approach to support families whose children receive services through a community mental health service provider.
The purpose of the Parent Support Partner Project or service is to increase family involvement and engagement within the mental health treatment process and to equip parents with the skills necessary to address the challenges of raising a youth with special needs thus improving outcomes for youth with SED, serious emotional disturbance or intellectual/developmental or I/DD, involved with the public mental health system.
The PSP service is provided by trained parent with first-hand experience navigating public child serving agencies and raising a child with mental health or developmental challenges. Support provided to a family by a PSP will focus on increasing confidence and competence in parenting skills, increasing the parent’s knowledge to navigate systems and partner with service providers, and empower the parent to develop sustainable, natural support networks after formal service delivery has ended. Parent Support Partner’s, serving as an equal member of the treatment team, will assist in identifying goals within the Person Centered/Family Centered Plan that will support the parent to develop the new skills, resources, and confidence in parenting a child with serious emotional disturbance (SED) and/or intellectual developmental disabilities (I/DD).
Parent Support Partners are typically used to enhance the therapeutic process of the clinician or the case manager by working directly with caregivers to expand, enhance and increase skills, knowledge and abilities needed to meet the numerous challenges facing families of youth with mental health needs.
What exactly do Parent Support Partners do?
- Provide peer delivered support to parents of youth with SED/IDD in the public mental health system
- Facilitate access to services
- Provide a source of credible information
- Demonstrate effective communication & collaboration
- Assist with systems navigation
- Teach skills to effectively manage the day-to-day challenges of raising youth with SED
- Work individually with families whose children are receiving CMH services and who need additional supports and skill building to reach their goals
- Build and nurture relationships with the family and others working with the family
- Support parent’s and family member’s participation in family-centered practices, person centered planning and in treatment, services and supports
- Provide information to increase the caregiver and family’s understanding of their child’s needs, CMHSP access, the assessment process, family-centered practice, and community resources
- Use their own experience and additional information to assist parents in understanding their child’s diagnosis, supports and services available
- Team with others providing services and supports
- Participate in family-centered practice, person centered-planning process, and assists in development of goals related to Parent to Parent support in the plan of service
- Provide information to the family so they can make informed choices on what is best for their child and family
- Provide support and assist parents/family members to speak for themselves
- Provide education and training to and assist families in preparing for meetings regarding their child
- Link the family, based on strengths and cultural interest, with activities and groups in the community
Benefits of the Parent Support Partner Service include:
- Improved Health and Mental Health Outcomes
- Satisfaction with Services
- Increased engagement in treatment
- Increased retention in treatment
- Decreased caregiver stress
- Increased satisfaction with services
- Decreased costly interventions for example, out of home placements
- Increased family and youth involvement
What does Research Say About Parent Support Partner Services?
Peer support research has shown 6 main areas of improvement when families were connected to peer-to-peer parent support. Including improvements in:
- Initial Engagement
- Ongoing Participation
- Increased Empowerment
- Increased Self-Efficacy
- Perceived Social Support
What is Involved in the PSP Certification Process?
The Parent Support Partner certification model requires that Parent Support Partners participate in 5 full days of classroom training, 11 months of individual & group coaching, and Quarterly Professional Development and Technical Assistance meetings.
Classroom training topics include: Family Driven & Youth Guided Care, Cultural Competency, Child and Family Serving Systems, Confidentiality, Mandated Reporting, HIPAA, Boundaries, Roles and Function of Parent Support Partners, Benefits of the Service, SMART Goals, Parent-Professional Partnerships and System of Care and an overview of child and family service systems.
Monthly Group Coaching calls are facilitated by a member of the training and coaching team and offer an opportunity to teach, share, and demonstrate competencies through dialogue and consultation. Individual coaching is also available upon request from the PSP or recommendation from the Coach, PSP coordinator or Family Organization or CMH Supervisor. Individual coaching would be used to refine skills in specific skill area and provide targeted technical assistance related to particularly challenging need area.
Professional Development & Technical Assistance Meetings are held quarterly and Parent Support Partners meet face to face or for on-going learning. These quarterly meetings provide an opportunity for networking with other PSP’s, technical assistance around barriers with implementation of the model with families and professionals.
Supervision of Parent Support Partners is provided by a CMH Qualified Mental Health Provider who:
- Has direct knowledge and contact with families receiving PSP services
- Provides clinical direction related to treatment goals
- Supports clinical staff to integrate PSP’s into treatment team, development of goals, etc.
What is Required of Community Mental Health Agencies That Offer the Service?
Expectations of Community Mental Health Service Provider who wish to employ Parent Support Partners, include that the CMH must:
- Employ or contract with a Family Organization to employ family members to become Parent Support Partners
- Identify a supervisor with the CMHSP to oversee the PSP’s
- Provide individual clinical supervision to the PSP
- Complete required paperwork and/or date collection/evaluation
- Training and on-going support and development for agency staff to integrate family members within the workforce
- Provide funds and resources necessary to implement PSP services including:
- Transportation and lodging for trainings and quarterly PD/TA meetings
- Personnel time for trainings, quarterly PD/TA meetings, coaching, and on-going evaluation
- Access to computer with internet access, phone, copy machine and fax, workspace
Key Expectations of the Program:
There is an expectation that the Parent Support Partner Service will be an intervention-based service and attached to a treatment goal.
There is also an expectation that PSP’s will be integrated into the treatment team and be an identified service within the Person Centered Plan to provide support, information, skill development, and resources to families to accomplish the treatment goals being targeted.
Parent Support Partners will work in partnership with the therapist and treatment team to assist families, bridge the relationship between parent and professional and support family & youth voice.
If You Need More Information:
For information about upcoming training dates for Parent Support Partners click here. To learn more about the Parent Support Partner Certification process or to learn how to bring the Parent Support Partner service to your area click here, and/or contact the Statewide Parent Support Partner Project Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.