Going through dependency proceedings is not an easy process. At times it can seem too big a burden for one person to handle. If you think you have to do it alone, think again! Parent Mentor Services can connect you to a parent who has been through the system, has reunified with their children and is eager to offer their assistance. They are called “Parent Mentors,” and here’s how they can help you.
Tina is a 38 year old single mother with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. When she lost custody of her child, Tina was devastated and didn’t know what to do. Trying to find her way through the maze of the Dependency Court system left Tina more isolated and confused. With the recommendation of her social worker, Tina was referred to Parent Mentor Services. She was assigned a Parent Mentor who shared a common experience. Through the nurturing and support of the Parent Mentor, Tina gained a better understanding of the Juvenile Dependency process. She also learned the importance of the timely completion of her case plan and the steps needed to successfully reunify with her child.
Parent Mentors help parents recognize their own strengths and empower them to advocate for themselves and their children. They are skilled and knowledgeable about resources in the community and tailor that information to fit the needs and interests of the parent.Parent Mentors are invaluable because they bring a different perspective to the way the Juvenile Dependency System operates. As a “reunified parent” the Parent Mentor brings personal knowledge and experience and uses that to build bridges with parents, social workers and other professionals involved in the case plan
The Role of the Mentor
Family Support Network’s Parent Mentor Services Program works in collaboration with Orange County Social Services Agency, Children and Family Services to provide one-on-one mentorship and support to parents receiving Family Reunification services. When a parent begins their journey through the Dependency court system, many experience isolation and loneliness because of unfamiliar terms and expectations. Meeting a Parent Mentor who has successfully survived the emotional challenges of reunifying with their children, can be a source of hope and inspiration for a parent entering the reunification process. With the guidance and support of a Parent Mentor, parents will understand how the system operates and the best way to utilize what it has to offer. Also, parents who are better informed and supported have a greater likelihood of experiencing a more positive outcome and a brighter future ahead.
Resources and Support
If you are a parent receiving Family Reunification services and need support, information and referrals to community services, you may call our:
Monday thru Friday
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
This is a free, confidential telephone access line where you will receive one-on-one support and assistance. Telephones are answered by Parent Mentors and Parent Mentor Services staff in English and Spanish. If you would like more information about Parent Mentor Services, please contact the Parent Mentor Coordinator at (714) 854-7442.