Family Mentor Program



Raising a child with disabilities and developmental needs can be both challenging and rewarding, but what can make the difference is the connection to other families and the community. We know that while the experts may have the professional advice your child needs, no one understands what you are going through better than another parent. Our CTN Family Mentor Program matches parents or caregivers with a trained volunteer mentor who is on a similar journey or who has experienced a similar situation.
 
The goal is to empower and strengthen families by providing resources, information and emotional support to help them through their journey. This peer support program functions to complement, supplement and extend formal primary care services by offering the perspective of someone who has “been there”.  


We can feel quite isolated from "typical" families and friends. To have someone to talk to who understands and just gets it (meaning every aspect of your life from physical, financial and especially emotional) is priceless. Having the support of someone who knows exactly how you feel and what you are going through helps you to feel not so alone anymore.
- Laura, Family Mentor

 

What we do

Studies show that peer support can help reduce anxiety and depression in parents of children who have children with disabilities, so we created a program model to respond to the unique needs of CTN families by connecting them to a trained mentor in their community who will inform them of relevant events, connect them to additional resources on our online resource centre and provide them with emotional support. All efforts are made to match families with a mentor who can best meet their individual needs while connecting online or by phone. In addition to one-to-one peer matching, this program regularly hosts parent workshops from the parent perspective. See all workshops on the CTN calendar. The Family Mentor Program was established with the support of a Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant.

 

Eligibility

All CTN families are eligible for this free program. The only criteria is that you have a client record and receive at least one service at CTN or through one of our partners. In some cases, families would benefit from another more intense service and will be referred to a partner agency for more support.

 

Referrals

Anyone on your child’s team can refer you to this program by completing the Request for Local Team Services referral form.

If you’d like to refer yourself, please call our ACCESS Team at 1-866-377-0286 or email Heather Oliver-Hamilton, Family Resource Coordinator at holiverhamilton@ctnsy.ca and ask about this program.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer family mentor, please complete this application form.

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