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History and Future

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Our History: Successfully Supporting Parents for More than 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 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. PEPS is focused on family wellness and implements its programs based on the Strengthening Families™ approach.
  • Reducing isolation. Meeting in each other's 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 more than 3,000 families annually through parenting groups with curricula designed to support parents of newborns, older babies and toddlers.

Our Future: Community of Confident, Competent Parents

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