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Information from TN Dept of Health about the Ongoing Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Parents Encouraging Parents

What is Parents Encouraging Parents?

Parents Encouraging Parents (P.E.P.) is a statewide parent-to-parent network established in the Tennessee Department of Health to offer support and information to parents of children with a disability, chronic illness, or special need. 

How does the program work?

Support parents, trained volunteers who have developed effective coping skills and strategies in parenting a child with special needs, are matched with referred parents--parents with a child who is newly diagnosed, in crisis or transition, or simply in need of support and information. Parents are matched as closely as possible based on the child’s diagnosis, family structure, and cultural, racial or religious factors. The kind, frequency and duration of contact are determined by the referred parents' needs and preferences. All information is kept confidential.

What does Parents Encouraging Parents offer?

P.E.P. provides practical advice and information, as well as emotional support and encouragement. The program has an extensive print and video lending library, as well as comprehensive databases of local, statewide and national resources.

Who is eligible?

There are no income or eligibility guidelines and no diagnosis restrictions.  The program is free and available in all 95 counties. Parents who need assistance or who want to join the network as support parents should contact their local health department.

Who should contact P.E.P.?

  • Families with children who have been newly diagnosed or who are in a crisis or transition situation.
  • Parents interested in talking with an experienced trained volunteer support parent who has a child with similar circumstances.
  • Families looking for information about disabilities, services or programs.
  • Parents willing to be a trained volunteer support parent to share their experiences and knowledge with another parent.
  • Professionals or community members interested in increasing their understanding of the unique needs of families whose children have a disability or chronic illness.
  • Any family member, professional or friend of someone who might need assistance.