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Developing and Sustaining a Parent Partner Program

Published: August 12, 2016
Technical Assistance
Child Welfare, Program Funding

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Parent partner programs bring together parents currently in the child welfare system with parents who were involved with the child welfare system in the past and succeeded in executing their case plan and being reunited with their children. The mentorship that parent partners provide brings hope, realistic expectations, support, and guidance to parents working toward reunification.

While the benefits of parent partner programs are clear, agencies wishing to develop a program face challenges in standing up programs, recruiting parents, and sustaining and growing the program.

In this podcast, 'Developing and Sustaining a Parent Partner Program', listen to members of the Iowa Department of Human Services, along with Children & Families of Iowa, who helped institute and expand the State's parent partner program. A veteran parent partner is also featured and provides insight on recruiting and retaining parent partners.

Some key questions are addressed in this podcast:

  • Who needed to be convinced to stand up a parent partner program, and how were they convinced?
  • Where did the initial funding come from?
  • How did the program recruit and train parent partners?
  • What makes a successful parent partner?
  • What are the "must-haves" in implementing a parent partner program?


  • Sandy Lint, State coordinator for community partnerships, Iowa Department of Human Services
  • Sara Persons, State coordinator, Parent Partner Program, Children & Families of Iowa
  • Jamie Reidburn, Iowa parent partner

Runtime: 29:54

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