The Wisconsin Family Ties Parent Peer Specialist Program, supports parents raising children with emotional / behavioral challenges by fostering parent empowerment. Increased parent empowerment1 is correlated with improved child behavior and academic outcomes, enhanced child-parent relations, improved mental health treatment completion, and decreased parental stress.2  The Parent Peer Specialist program fosters empowerment through the creation of a one-to-one relationship between a parent-in-need and a trained veteran parent who understands the parent’s needs due to shared experiences. Support and information are provided; independence is fostered.

1Empowerment: “…the ongoing capacity of individuals or groups to act on their own behalf to achieve a greater measure of control over their lives and destinies” (Staples, 1990, p. 30) within the dimensions of levels and expressions (Koren, DeChillo, & Friesen, 1992).
2E.g. (Chacko et al., 2009; Kazdin & Wassell, 2000; Ruffolo, Kuhn, & Evans, 2006.)

Study Opportunities to HELP Wisconsin Families:

Do you parent or care for a child? Do you know what caregivers need? If so, please consider participating in a study sponsored by the Medical College of Wisconsin and WFT examining how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected caregivers. Dr. Robyn Hardt Schultz, Director of Research and Evaluation at WFT has partnered with MCW to conduct this study. The study will take about twenty minutes by the responses you provide may have a lasting impact on improving interventions and available treatments.

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 NEW Online Survey Results: 

Statewide mental health staff who work with children with behavioral and mental health challenges invest time and talent in the care and well-being of the children and families they serve. In a recent survey, these professionals noted that their work demands increased during the pandemic. Survey results also identified more than 40 means by which staff could have a greater impact on these families’ lives.