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Partnerships with Community-Based Organizations

PEPS local partnerships are rooted in a spirit of listening and learning, and seeking to understand how we can improve and adapt the PEPS parent peer-support model to be increasingly responsive to the needs of the parents in communities and groups across King and Snohomish County. This work has been informed by our commitment to racial equity and an organizational assessment that gathered input from parents and community-based organizations to learn about how PEPS can better show up for families in our region.

Local partnerships bring parent peer support to communities that we had not served before - or served well - in the past. We strive to build meaningful relationships that meet the unique needs of the organizations and parents involved. PEPS invests resources and staff to train team members of partner organizations on the PEPS model, curriculum and evaluations, and receives critical feedback on adaptations and adjustments that help the groups better meet the needs of parents. Everything we have learned from these partnerships shaped our path forward and will continue to inform our work – both in partnerships and in neighborhood PEPS Groups. Learn more about each of these unique partnerships below.


ChildStriveChildStrive

ChildStrive’s success stems from a foundational belief in family empowerment and a strength-based model that maximizes each child’s abilities so that they can get the very best start in life. We use a hands-on coaching model. Our staff supports parents and other care givers, enhancing their capacity to meet the specific needs of their infants and toddlers, in the child’s natural learning environments – at home, at their child care center, or in other community settings.

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Cocoon House

In the fall of 2017, PEPS began partnering with Cocoon House North, a maternity group home for pregnant or teenage mothers experiencing homelessness. In collaboration with Compass Health and Snohomish Health District, we have offered three site-based PEPS groups to date, for 29 teen parents attending Crossroads Alternative High School. These moms build resilience and a community with one another while earning high school credits through their participation in the program.

Staff and participants from the Cocoon House

Staff and participants from the Cocoon House and PEPS partnership, attending a PEPS Luncheon.

Read more about how groups of teen moms received peer-support through our collaboration here and here.

“I felt like I was alone, and no one would help me, but I quickly realized I am not alone.” — A.H., Cocoon House PEPS Group participant

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Mercy Housing Northwest

In 2019, PEPS connected with Mercy Housing Northwest, a non-profit organization that creates stable, vibrant and healthy communities for residents through affordable and permanent housing.

Together, we offered site-based Spanish language peer-support groups to 20 parents from the Appian Way location in Kent, Washington. These groups have been led by Spanish-speaking residents from the community and Mercy Housing staff, trained in facilitation by PEPS Community Connectors.

Families and facilitators from a Mercy Housing PEPS Group

Families and facilitators from a Mercy Housing PEPS Group alongside Mercy Housing staff.

Hear from one of our participants, Blanca De Luna, and Group Leader Emma Salinas, about their PEPS experience in this video.

“The support that they provide at that moment, it’s essential…when they say you are not alone, we are all here for you.” — Emma Salinas, Mercy Housing Northwest PEPS Group Leader

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NISO Programs

NISO Programs

NISO Programs is an organization that promotes the development of healthier and stronger communities by empowering individuals and meeting the needs where they are. NISO mission is to activate change and growth in our diverse community through: Active involvement, Purpose-driven empowerment, Imparting knowledge, Connecting opportunities, and Sustainable practices. NISO supports Spanish speaking families living on the Eastside in the region covered by Bellevue and Lake Washington School districts. At the core of NISO Programs is the use of the Promotores model. The promotores are members of the Latino community that are hired, trained and connected with organizations, being liaisons for and with the community. As the promotores share the same language, culture, ethnicity, status, and experiences of their communities, Promotores are able to reduce the common barriers to services for native-born and immigrant communities.

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Open Arms Perinatal Services

Open Arms Perinatal Services is a local non-profit organization that provides cultural and language-specific birth doulas to expectant parents from low-income households. Partnering together, we began by offering three site-based PEPS groups for Spanish-speaking mothers starting in the spring of 2018. The beginnings of one of those first groups is featured here.

Since then, we have teamed up repeatedly to provide services, support, and a community to more than 60 families total in over 6 groups.

Open Arms Perinatal Services PEPS Group

Mothers, their children, and staff co-facilitator from an Open Arms Perinatal Services PEPS Group, alongside the PEPS East Region Community Connector.

We will continue to invest in our partnership through support, compensation, and training Open Arms staff as Group Leaders, alongside providing resources such as transportation and incentives to families.

We will remain united in our efforts with Open Arms, supporting their advocacy efforts in fighting against birth inequities, particularly for mothers of color. We will persevere in finding additional opportunities to bring peer support to this large community of expectant parents who can benefit from a PEPS group tailored to their specific needs.

“…we’re adjusting as we go, but everyone in the group looked forward to finding connection and learning from each other.” — Maria, Open Arms PEPS Group Co-Leader

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Southwest Youth and Family Services

Southwest Youth and Family Services is a local non-profit serving low-income youth and their families and refugees, providing employment and parenting programs alongside counselling services.

The initial idea to collaborate in offering a site-based, Spanish-language peer-support group for teen parents began in 2018 through a connection to the organization with one of the PEPS regional Community Connectors. By spring of 2019, a pilot group was formed, comprised of 8 expectant and new parents. These weekly sessions provided critical support to teen parents through offering a safe space to share highs and lows, ask questions, and find peer support and social connection. We look forward to sharing more about this partnership in the future!

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Valley Medical Center

In 2018, PEPS and Valley Medical Center piloted a site-based PEPS Group together for Valley Medical Center patient families.

This partnership focuses on serving communities under-represented in South King County, while providing families access to one of the largest, state-of-the-art birthing centers in King County. One of the unique aspects of this pilot is that participants have direct access to medical professionals without needing a referral first.

Valley Medical Center

Parent participants from the first Valley Medical Center PEPS pilot Group.

Medical specialists are on-site as Valley Medical Center staff members and attend selected PEPS Group sessions as guest speakers, providing knowledge and skill in their specific areas of expertise.

6 parents participated in our initial group, forming a sense of connection and community quickly. Together, we have since offered more groups, including this feature article on our second pilot, and we look forward to collaborating on others with Valley Medical in the future!

“I joined PEPS because I was desperate for community. I searched high and low and wasn't able to find anything within my area until PEPS. You see, I live in Ravensdale (15 mins outside of Maple Valley). It's a very isolated area. My entire family lives in Florida and my handful of friends were all working. Not only was I completely overwhelmed, but I was struggling with severe postpartum depression/anxiety and had no local support outside of my husband… I became stronger and more confident through getting support, but surprisingly also from giving support. It's hard to think about what life would have been without PEPS. Therapy and medication helped me so much, but a sense of community was so, so important for my recovery.” — Robyn D., Valley Medical Center PEPS Group participant

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Wonderland

Wonderland Child & Family Services - Shoreline, WA
wonderlandkids.org

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Wonderland Child & Family Services is a non-profit early-intervention agency, serving families and their children ages birth to three with developmental delays or disabilities in north King and south Snohomish counties. They offer facilitated peer-based parent support, including a modified curriculum for their meeting discussion topics. Together, we are offering a peer-support program for families caring for children with development challenges or disabilities. Learn more about our pilot program.

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Is your organization interested in partnering with PEPS? Reach out to us at peps@peps.org today to learn more.

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