Peer-to-peer help for parents!

Parenting is hard. Really hard. 

But when you have a child with a disability or complex health-care needs, your family will face challenges that not everyone can understand.

Thanks to Family Voices of Minnesota, however, help is on the way.

This local nonprofit organization operates CONNECTED, a free, state-wide parent-to-parent peer-support program in which every staff member has a child with a disability or complex health-care needs.

“When a parent calls Family Voices, they will right away speak to a parent who understands their situation,” said Family Voices development director Molly Drew.

Not only can those parents provide kindness and understanding, they also can help families navigate complex systems such as available medical care, insurance plans, schools, community services, child-care options, waivers, therapies and more.

Drew said specially trained parent advocates share their own similar experiences and help parents feel less alone — as well as more confident when speaking up for their children, who often need special services. 

To support Family Voices of Minnesota, you can attend the organization’s eighth-annual benefit on Nov. 15 — an evening of appetizers, drinks, music and a performance by storyteller Kevin Kling at the Minnesota Humanities Center in St. Paul. 

For help, talk or text to 612-440-1609 (9 a.m.–4 p.m. weekdays) or go to familyvoicesofminnesota.org.