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What is a Parent Mentor?

Our Parent Mentors have firsthand experience navigating the legal and logistical challenges of the Child Welfare and Child Protection systems and although we serve all families, our emphasis is on black, brown, and indigenous families who face a disproportionate number of separations and typically wait longer for reunification. Our Parent Mentors are able to empathize and support other parents with the goal of reuniting them with their children.

Our Parent Recovery Mentors receive extensive training to be certified in the Peer-to-Peer Recovery Coaching Program which is designed for families in the Child Welfare System due to Substance Use Disorder (SUD). We help parents overcome barriers that might make the process required to reunite with their children even more daunting by providing guidance and support. Having a Parent Mentor brings hope that recovery is possible and that children do come home.

"Sometimes, the best support comes from someone else who has been there."

~ Larene Randle-Wade

CEO of Minnesota One-Stop for Communities


Since 2016, Minnesota One-Stop for Communities has been helping parents navigate the legal and logistical challenges of the child welfare system. At the end of 2023, our Parent Mentor Program supported 141 cases involving 217 children with 47 of those cases resulting in 63 children being reunified with their family. 

36 of these cases were African American involving 45 children and 22 cases resulted in reunification for 26 children and in working with the State of Minnesota for the counties of Ramsey, Hennepin and St. Louis, we supported 62 cases involving 94 children with 19 cases resulting in reunification for 27 children.

Reunification is not just the return of a child to the care of their parent/s. It is a process along a continuum of service delivery. It includes maintaining family relationships, important connections and routines while a child is in short-term care, responsive case planning and ongoing support after the child returns home. Parent Mentors help to ensure the appropriate support services are in place. 

Why Have Parent Mentors?

Representative Jamie Becker-Finn

Minnesota State Representative Jamie Becker-Finn

“Our state’s child welfare system has disproportionately impacted — and often harmed — BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] families by separating children from their parents. Given this history, it is incredibly important that parents and families are supported as they navigate the process. Utilizing parent mentors is an effective way to do that.”
The Imprint Youth & Family News, Filed 2/10/2021, Colleen Connolly
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