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History of the Parent Mentor Partnership
The Parent Mentor Partnership was founded in 2002 when six school districts partnered with the Georgia Department of Education Division for Special Education Services and Supports to hire parent mentors to infuse family engagement into school and district activities. The mentors, who would serve as members of their special education leadership teams, were funded partially by the GADOE and partially by the school district. Mentors were responsible for providing information to parents of students with disabilities to assist them in navigating the special education system and in identifying activities that could help improve outcomes for their children. They also supported teachers and administrators in planning and implementing activities that would support family involvement.
Modeled after the Ohio Parent Mentor Program and led by the GaDOE Special Education Family Engagement Specialist, the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership quickly became a model for families and schools working together to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. Today, the Partnership has grown to include over 100 parent mentors who partner with special education directors in over 90 school districts to embed family engagement into school and district initiatives.