Testimony: Kim Smith, South Sound Parent to Parent

Testimony from Kim Smith, South Sound Parent to Parent given during the 2016 Legislative Session.

South Sound Parent to Parent started in 1987 and we currently serve Thurston and Mason County.  We exist to help families raising children and supporting adults with disabilities.  We do a need’s assessment every year and the consistent thing that parents and caregivers tell us is that they feel isolated. Sometimes this isolation comes from being overwhelmed, feeling like no one else is sharing the same experience or simply being embarrassed by their child’s behavior or just too tired to go out.

We provide one on one parent matches with trained parent mentors, support groups, recreational activities, educational workshops around effective communication and navigating big systems, emotional and informational support, a helping hand and a listening ear.  From 2012 to 2014 we fielded over 13,000 calls from parents looking for some sort of support.  In the previous two years, we took about 4800 calls.  The number of families who are reaching out and seeking help is sometimes staggering and we are doing everything we can to keep up with the demands and continue to provide quality services. 

Our goal is to ensure that no family goes without services.  Parenting is hard work and with the added challenge of navigating the world with a child who has a disability can make it even more difficult, we want to ensure that we can make it as easy as possible.  We respectfully ask that you continue to support and enhance Parent to Parent programs across the state.

Kim Smith, Executive Director