Parent Mentor Oversight & Professional Development Program

The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce (ODEW) recognizes the critical need for supporting and honoring families as the primary caregivers and educators of children. This crucial role, from birth into adulthood, is challenging for families, and the challenges are often compounded for families of children with disabilities. 

The state of Ohio developed a multi-tiered system of support, Ohio’s Parent Mentor Project, over 30 years ago to offer parents a supportive peer relationship, the Parent Mentor, to promote understanding of local resources for families of students with disabilities.  Employed by districts, Parent Mentors are parents of a child with a disability who collaborate to form strong partnerships between families and schools.  The primary structure for providing state-wide supports is the State Support Teams (SSTs) across 16 regions.  Parent Mentors work alongside SSTs to provide the families of students with disabilities consistent, and strong support at no cost to them.  Via the Parent Mentor Oversight & Professional Development Program, Center Associates support the professional development of Parent Mentors through coaching and targeted services and supports in collaboration with ODEW. The regional structure builds upon the existing broad system of supports for families.  

Stay up to date on resources and news by visiting Ohio’s Parent Mentor website or by following the project on Twitter. For questions,  contact CETE-ParentMentor@osu.edu

Current Award Total: $527,167

Parent Mentors Oversight and Professional Development Project

Caregivers of children with disabilities signing Individualized Education Program (IEP) paperwork.