Parent Engagement and Self-Advocacy (PESA)
About This Program
Target Population: Birth parents, foster parents, and caseworkers of children ages 10-17 who are in foster care and candidates for reunification
PESA is an adaptation of Columbia University’s Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) and the Building a Better Future Program developed by Sandra Jimenez and Naomi Weinstein as a Family-to-Family Initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. PESA helps birth parents, foster parents, and caseworkers work together to address the mental health needs of youth in foster care.
The overall goals for Parent Engagement and Self-Advocacy (PESA) are:
- Improve collaboration between case workers, foster parents, and birth parents
- Increase knowledge about child mental health issues facing youth in child welfare
- Improve the ability of case workers, foster parents,and birth parents to advocate for the mental health needs of children in their care
Essential components of Parent Engagement and Self-Advocacy (PESA) include:
- Having 12-15 participants per group
- Having each group include a birth parent advocate, foster parent advocate, and caseworker as group facilitators
- Requiring a 3-day training for group facilitators followed by 12 consultation calls
- Requiring mandatory adherence to manual
- Requiring a representation of birth parents, foster parents, and caseworkers in each group
The manual is composed of 10 chapters covering the following topic areas:
- Chapter 1: Introduction to the PESA Manual
- Chapter 2: Understanding the Child Welfare System
- Chapter 3: Understanding and Coping with Emotions
- Chapter 4: Building Communication Skills
- Chapter 5: Getting Organized for Effective Meetings
- Chapter 6: Understanding Youth Development and Reactions to Change
- Chapter 7: Youth Mental Health Issues: Diagnosis and Treatment
- Chapter 8: The Mental Health System of Care: What to Expect and How to Prepare
- Chapter 9: Services and Options Through the School System
- Chapter 10: Making Advocacy Work
Parent Engagement and Self-Advocacy (PESA) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:
- Parents or foster parents of youth in the foster care system
One 2-3 hour session per week
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Community Agency
This program does not include a homework component.
Resources Needed to Run Program
The typical resources for implementing the program are:
- Audiovisual (LCD Projector and screen)
- Group facilitators (birth parent advocate, foster parent advocate and caseworker)
- Room large enough for 12-15 people
Education and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
Group facilitators should have some prior experience running groups and comfort with public speaking.
Education and Training Resources
There is a manual that describes how to implement this program , and there is training available for this program.
- Lisa Hunter Romanelli, PhD
phone: (212) 947-7322 x227
Training is obtained:
Number of days/hours:
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.
Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Parent Engagement and Self-Advocacy (PESA).
No reference materials are currently available for Parent Engagement and Self-Advocacy (PESA).
- Lisa Hunter Romanelli, PhD
- Agency/Affiliation: The REACH Institute
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (212) 947-7322 x227
- Fax: (212) 947-7400
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2014
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: July 2015
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2010