Providing Support? 

If you are an individual who is providing family-to-family support, and/or a program considering implementation of family-to-family support, the following are different models of family-to-family support programming, and/or qualities that those providing such support should possess.

Models of Family-to-Family Support

Hands & Voices

Hands & Voices Family to Family Support  -

At Hands & Voices there are three basic components provided to families through our parent-to-parent organizational system: emotional support, information and resource dissemination, and modeling by other families. Supported families are emotionally healthy and ready to face their responsibilities. Informed families have the resources to make good decisions, take ownership of their decisions, and understand why they are doing what they are doing.

Additionally, Hands & Voices believes the following components should be in place for those providing parent-to-parent support:

For more information on Hands & Voices Chapters -
For more information on the Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side program -

Family-to-Family Support Program Guidelines

Guidelines for Establishing and Maintaining Family-to-Family Support Programs for Families who Have Children who are Deaf / Hard of Hearing (D/HH)

cover- Creating a family-to-family support program to serve families with children who are (D/HH) can be a challenging endeavor and requires careful planning, execution and evaluation.  Programs must be built on the foundation of respect for informed parent decision-making and delivery of unbiased information to families.

Whether you currently are operating a family-to-family support program with or without parent expertise in D/HH focused services and/or you are seeking to implement a program, we hope you find the guidelines informative and insightful. The Guidelines are designed as a resource for those interested in playing an active role in the development and implementation of high quality, sustainable parent-to-parent support unique for parents who have children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH).  We believe underscoring core components of appropriate programming specifically for this population will provide consistent D/HH-focused support for all families.

The intended primary audience of these Guidelines are state/territory community organizations and organizers who wish to implement a family-to-family support program. (Hands & Voices chapters and programs such as the H&V Guide By your Side (GBYS) program already have written specific guiding principles and operating policies and procedures of which they follow).

Checklist: Program Implementation of Unbiased Support for Families With D/HH Children

Programs offering support to the entire community of families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing must be unbiased to the many choices families may make about communication, educational placement, technology and more.  Unbiased delivery of information involves careful consideration of each program component and commitment to on-going assessment.   The following checklist is provided as a tool to conduct a review of a family support program in order to develop a plan to address areas of need / improvement.

[ Download Checklist ]

Family-to-Family Support Opportunities for Family Based Organizations

Family-to-Family Support Opportunities for Family-based Organizations Based on What Families Reported in the FL3 National Needs Assessment. (pdf)

Description: The information in this document was created by the Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side (GBYS) Coordinators in response to the findings from the FL3 National Needs Assessment . These are examples of strategies and  activities that Family-based Organizations (FBOs) may want to consider to proactively address what families reported in the FL3 Needs Assessment.

For other Family to Family Support Programs/Resources in your state or Territories, explore:

Where Families Find Support

Family’s skills, strategies, and advocacy tools are increased by being exposed to a variety of family support opportunities included in the model below.  It is important for families who are providing support to be aware of their own role within the context of other platforms from which families should be receiving support.  

Revised Conceptual Framework of Parent to Parent Support for Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Modified Delphi Study

In a literature review of 39 peer-reviewed articles published from 2000 to 2014, Henderson, Johnson and Moodie (2014) describe the importance of parent-to-parent support in helping to guide parents on how to advocate on behalf of their child and access special education and other services. “Peer parental support systems boost parental morale and confidence when looking toward the future at points of transition.  Parents are better positioned to support the goals chosen by the child through meaningful collaboration.”  The findings of this dual-stage scoping review and electronic Delphi study provide a conceptual framework that defines the vital contribution of parents in Early Hearing Detection and Intervention programs that will be a useful addition to these programs.

The Supplement to the JCIH 2007 Position Statement: Principles and Guidelines for Early Intervention after Confirmation That a Child Is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
 can be found here: 
This Early Intervention (EI) services document was drafted by teams of professionals with extensive expertise in EI programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. The team used literature searches, existing systematic reviews, and recent professional consensus statements to develop a set of guidelines. These comprehensive guidelines help EHDI programs establish strong Early Intervention systems with expertise to meet the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. For the infant or young child who is D/HH to reach his or her full potential, families and professionals must work together quickly to build carefully designed individualized intervention in a family’s home and community. This includes engaging service providers with optimal knowledge and skill levels that fit the diverse needs of this population.

A Parent’s guide to the JCIH Supplement.  This Parent’s Guide was developed by the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Parent to Parent Committee, which is made up of parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as a diverse group of professionals who support families in EI and beyond.

For more resources to share with families, explore the other sections of the FL3 Website sections and/or click here