History and Future
PEPS has supported Puget Sound families since 1983 through a preventative parent support program designed to educate new parents.
From our Families
"PEPS gave me support, encouragement, a shoulder to cry on and people to share the little tiny wonders of my son that only another mom could enjoy.
Most importantly though, PEPS gave me a place to feel safe when I was questioning everything I was doing and friends that, no matter how old my kids get, I will remember forever.”
Allison Jones, a PEPS Participant
Our History: Successfully Supporting Parents for Three Decades
In 1982, a group of early childhood educators and social service workers from public and private agencies in King County, WA joined to design a preventative model of support and education for new parents. These collaborative visionaries saw the need for a program that would bring new parents together, in their communities, during the critical first few months when feelings of isolation and inadequacy mix with the joy of welcoming a new baby. Informed by study of family support programs across the nation, PEPS launched three neighborhood groups in 1983 and was quickly embraced by the community as a unique and incredibly valuable family resource.
PEPS Today: The Power of Peer Support
PEPS has become well known for parent support groups in Seattle, the Eastside and Snohomish County, Washington that help new parents gain confidence and competence in their parenting skills. Our unique combination of practical information and non-judgmental support has been successful for over 30 years. In particular, PEPS has been praised for:
- Peer Facilitators. Trained volunteer leaders foster a comfortable, informative atmosphere that encourages peer interaction and builds trust among new friends.
Supporting Family Wellness. Collaboration with local health care professionals and organizations allows PEPS services to complement, rather than compete with, other community parenting resources.
- Reducing isolation. Meeting in each others homes creates a network of neighborhood-based parenting resources, building new friendships and reducing isolation.
- Proactive problem solving. PEPS meetings are structured yet informal, providing solid parent education while encouraging new families to learn from each other, share experiences and ask frank questions.
- Beyond family and friends. PEPS is a welcoming community offering timely support and information when new moms and dads are eager to find local parenting resources. Even parents with a strong local family network find PEPS adds valuable support.
- Accessible to all. Financial assistance is available to ensure that every family has the opportunity to participate in a PEPS parent support group.
- PEPS is fun! Exchanging stories, laughing and learning with other new dads and moms is often the highlight of a parent's week. Families look forward to connecting, getting out with their babies and making new friends.
PEPS serves over 2,400 families annually through five different types of parenting groups with curricula designed to support parents of newborns, infants and toddlers. In 2012, we launched two new programs, PEPS for Dads and PEPS @ Microsoft, and have revamped our Siblings curriculum. Demand for PEPS' core Newborn groups continues to grow and we plan to run more groups than ever while maintaining our commitment to provide scholarships for any family with need.
Our Future: Community of Confident, Competent Parents
We are currently in the second year of a strategic growth plan developed to help us reach more families, update and enhance our program content, maintain financial sustainability, and advance PEPS' organizational stability and acuity. Read the full PEPS Strategic Plan and consider becoming involved as a volunteer, donor, PEPS Ambassador or group participant.