The mission of the Utah Parent Center is to help parents help their children, youth and young adults with all disabilities to live included, productive lives as members of the community. We accomplish our mission by providing accurate information, empathetic peer support, valuable training and effective advocacy based on the concept of parents helping parents. The Parent Training and Information (PTI) project is the “heart” of the Utah Parent Center and has been continuously funded since 1983. The UPC’s model is based on several effective strategies to deliver information and training and to develop skills.
What can District Parent Consultants do? The Parent Consultant dedicated to serving families in the five school districts can:
- Provide free, private consultations in-person or by phone regarding questions or concerns about the special education process.
- Provide information on using the IEP process.
- Provide information on procedural safeguards and rights and responsibilities under IDEA.
- Assist in preparing for IEP meetings.
- Provide support during IEP meetings.
- Provide information about specific disabilities.
- Provide workshops on IEPs, Transition, Section 504, communication and other topics.
- Connect to resources and supports in your community.
LEAs will have:
- Skilled, dedicated staff tasked to work with parents one-on-one to provide information, training, and support to help them participate effectively as members of the IEP and school teams designing programs.
- A valuable, effective resource to assist them with “anxious” parents.
- “Advocates” training, informing, coaching, and supporting parents that they know are trained and supported by the Utah Parent Center with accurate, current, research-based information. Districts can trust the philosophy of working together to resolve concerns at the lowest level as well as the quality of training and supervisory support that the UPC provides for the Parent Consultant.
- The benefit of all the quality evidence- and research-based training materials and information already developed by the UPC for use with parents/families. These may be adapted as needed to include LEA specific information.
- Access to detailed data on the families served through quarterly reports. The UPC uses a web-based reporting system and issues detailed information to inform the LEA Director.
- A Parent Consultant who may be used as a participant on the various District committees (such as the Steering Committee in providing support to the [monitoring] process (e.g. conducting parent surveys, focus groups, etc.) or as a representative of families in other systems-level activities.
- Access to the UPC’s full-time Spanish-speaking Parent Consultant to help meet the needs in the District.
Who can work with the Parent Consultant? Any parent of an individual with a disability served in the District or professionals that work to support the families in the District.
All services are free and confidential. No information will be released without consent.