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Mental Wellness » Parent & Family Partnership Program

Parent & Family Partnership Program

Parents and Family and Community Members are Invited to Partner with Us through the Special Education Parent and Family Partnership Program

The Parent/Family Partner (PFP) program began as a way to provide volunteer peer support to families navigating Special Education and 504 programs and processes. Since then we have expanded in order to engage with all families. Our volunteers are family members from our district who have similar lived experiences as the families they support, or who are invested in supporting kids through a whole family approach. 

Who is a Parent and Family Partner?

Special Education Parent and Family  Partners are parents/community members who reside in the Medical Lake School District. They have personal experience navigating the special education system.
Our partners are volunteers who receive a minimum of 9 hours of training provided by the Medical Lake School District and Sound Options Group. This group is partially funded through OSPI to help increase effective communication between parents and the school district. 
Along with their lived experiences, our PFP receive training on Conflict Resolution/Engaging in Difficult Conversations presented by Greg Abel from Sound Options Group. The Student Services Director, along with the Parent/Family Partner Coordinator provide additional training on IEP, 504, IDEA, and ADA requirements, Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and how to navigate school systems. 
PFP’s do not speak for families, or act as advocates. They are there to help families feel prepared to meet with school staff regarding their students through Peer Support. They simply assist families so they can advocate for their students. 
PFP’s provide a sounding board to assist family members as they unpack their concerns and emotions.
PFP’s help families with determining what their needs are, and connecting them with appropriate resources or processes to meet those needs.
PFP’s work together with Families, Admin, Staff, and Community members to break down barriers, and facilitate improved communication, and understanding. PFP’s help families with determining what their needs are, and connecting them with appropriate resources or processes to meet those needs.
Parent/Family Partners collaborate with the district's Mental Health providers to offer Parent Support Groups, Community Education Classes, Suicide Prevention Training, and Summer Groups for Students. We also partner with community groups to provide fun family events such as Back to School Celebration, Costume Swaps, Witches on the Water, and The Giving Tree.
If you are in need of support from a Parent/Family Partner or you are interested in learning how to support families as a volunteer, please contact Nikki Bauman Parent/Family Partner Coordinator at [email protected] or 509-565-3109
Parent and Family Partners: What We Do and What We Don't

A Special Education Parent and Family Partner DOES:

· Work with parents/guardians at no cost to them.

· Provide an impartial listening ear.

· Ask questions to help the parent/guardian identify and clarify concerns.

· Explain and help parents/guardians to understand the IEP process and navigate the school system.

· May accompany the parent/guardian to an IEP meeting or another meeting related to their child’s special education services.

· Support and empower the parent/guardian as the advocate for their child.

· Maintain confidentiality of the family being served.


A Special Education Parent and Family Partner DOES NOT:

· Provide legal advice.

· Advocate or speak for the parent.

Current MLSD Parent and Family Partner
Nikki Bauman

Nikki Bauman

Contact Information: Email [email protected]

Interested or have questions? Please contact us!

Tawni Barlow, Student Services Director

email: [email protected]