"Empowering parents, caregivers and whanau of children and family members with disabilities, health impairments, or special needs through the support and provision of information."
Parent to Parent is a support and information network for parents of children with special needs. Support is provided voluntarily by Trained Support Parents who have a child with the same or similar needs.
Formed in New Zealand in 1983, the group has built up a support network that is now nationwide. It is affiliated to similar groups around the world and maintains close links with other organisations and professionals who work in related fields. Its services are free to families.
Only those who have been there themselves can fully understand. Caring for a family member who has a special need is an experience that few parents anticipate or plan for, and one that brings strong emotional responses and challenges in day to day living.
For thousands of New Zealand families, the struggle to meet these challenges is a reality. Often families have to face them without adequate information or support, leaving them feeling isolated and overwhelmed.
Through a network of regional groups and trained volunteer Support Parents, Parent to Parent provides information and emotional support to families who have a child with a disability, special need or health impairment.
There are more than 3600 different conditions covered by the service, ranging from the very common through to the most rare condition. By contacting Parent to Parent, families can access written information relating to their child's condition, and also receive emotional support through talking with a trained volunteer Support Parent who knows and understands from personal experience the challenges, frustrations and special joy that comes from parenting a child with special needs.