One of the best resources for families is connecting with other caregivers.

The Mentor-Advocate-Partner (MAP) Program is a volunteer peer support opportunity adapted from the nationally recognized Parent-to-Parent USA program that is tailored for Alaskans. As parents ourselves who understand our children’s unique needs, we know one of the best resources for families is connecting with other caregivers who have had similar experiences caring for children with special needs.

We’ve all had times in our journey when we have felt overwhelmed and alone. Looking back, it would have helped to talk with someone who has already gone through that experience and made it out on the other side. The goal of the Mentor-Advocate-Partner (MAP) is to tap into the amazing resource of “seasoned” parents we already have among us, both locally and nationally, to help fill this void and create a stronger community support system.

For the most part, caregivers are paired with trained Mentor Parents in Alaska. In some situations, such as a rare diagnosis, we may match you with an experienced Mentor Parent in another part of the country. As a family member seeking support, you determine what qualities are most important to you for this connection.

Stone Soup Group takes confidentiality very seriously. We will only share the information you want us to share. You may be matched based on a number of factors, but we will not share all these reasons with either you or the other parent. These are your stories to tell. The person you are being connected with will receive your name, contact information as well as the age and diagnosis of your child. The rest is up to you.

If you’re interested, you can be matched with a Mentor Parent of a child who is d/Deaf or hard of hearing or a d/Deaf or Hard of Hearing Guide who is d/Deaf or hard of hearing.

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Are you interested in becoming a MAP Mentor Parent?

A Mentor Parent is an experienced and knowledgeable parent or caregiver who offers guidance and support to other parents who have children with similar experiences. Here’s a description of what a Mentor Parent typically does and the qualities they possess:

A Mentor Parent has firsthand knowledge of the challenges, joys, and complexities associated with caring for a child with special needs. This lived experience is crucial in establishing trust and empathy with other parents facing similar situations.

Mentor Parents possess a deep sense of empathy and compassion from their experiences. They understand the emotional and practical challenges that parents of children with disabilities face and offer emotional support and reassurance.

Effective Mentor Parents are active listeners who take the time to learn the unique needs and concerns of each family they work with. They create a safe and non-judgmental space for parents to share their experiences and feelings.

Mentor Parents often help caregivers identify and solve specific challenges related to their child’s disability. They can offer practical advice and strategies based on their own experiences.

Mentor Parents complete training through Stone Soup Group to enhance their ability to support other parents productively.

Mentor Parents offer one-on-one mentoring and can be accessible through phone calls, emails, texts or virtual platforms.

Mentor Parents serve as positive role models for other families. They demonstrate resilience, determination, and a commitment to improving the lives of their children despite the challenges they face.

Mentor Parents understand the importance of confidentiality and respect the privacy of the families they assist. They maintain strict confidentiality regarding personal information shared by the caregivers they work with.

We offer specialized training to be matched with parents of children who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing.