In My Backyard
In My Backyard
Season 2: Episode #7 - The Role of Parent Partners in Children’s Mental Health

Today’s podcast discusses the role of Parent Partners in the children’s mental health system. According to United Parents, a nonprofit focused on the concept of “parents helping parents”, a Parent Partner is a “clinically supervised para-professional who has raised a child with a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder. They understand the frustration, being blamed, losing hope, losing patience and all the challenges that go with raising children with mental health needs”. 

Casey Family Programs, a national nonprofit influencing policy change to better the lives of children, notes there is an inherent power differential between families served and those serving them. The power gaps are socioeconomic, educational and systemic in nature. The clinician or case worker will always hold more power in the relationship when only one side is sharing personal details and subject to mandated child abuse reporting, despite the best efforts of therapists to engage clients with empathy and authenticity. Casey Family Programs writes, “one innovative approach that has emerged over the past decade is the use of peer mentors, or Parent Partners, who serve to bridge the gap between … parents and a complex, often challenging, and overwhelming system”. 

In this episode, Patricia speaks with two staff members of The Guidance Center, Irving Martinez, a licensed clinical social worker from our Compton Clinic and supervisor to The Guidance Center’s team of Parent Partners and Arlene Escobar, a Parent Partner supporting families and engaging in client outreach from our Long Beach clinic. 

In My Backyard is brought to you by The Guidance Center, a children’s mental health agency in Long Beach, CA. In My Backyard is produced by Tricia Costales and Matthew Murray. Thank you to Jay Vincent B for original music. All other music licensed through SoundStripe. Thank you to our listeners and supporters.

Please visit or text HOPE to 562-262-5689 to make a one-time donation or join our Hope and Healing Club to become a monthly donor today. And subscribe to In My Backyard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.