​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Minnesota Parent Mentor Program (MPMP)

About This Program

Target Population: Parents in the welfare system/Child Protection System with children in the home or in an out-of-home placement

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 18

Program Overview

Minnesota Parent Mentor Program (MPMP) provides support for parents involved in the Child Protection System by helping them navigate their way through what can be an overwhelming and challenging process. A Parent Mentor will work with parents for the duration of their cases with child welfare and child protection--which can range from six months to more than a year--and help them remain connected with services afterward. Due to their firsthand experience, Parent Mentors can walk parents through every step to reunification or the best possible outcome for their family. As parents pursue reunification with their children, the program’s goal is to assist them in learning and applying effective parenting skills to maintain their reunification. By having parent mentors from the same geographic and cultural area as the parents, the MPMP is designed to be intentional about increasing racial equity in the child welfare system in addition to improving the quality of life for the families they serve.

Program Goals

​​​The goals of the target population of the Minnesota Parent Mentor Program (MPMP) are:

  • Connect with a parent mentor who understands both the child welfare system and the parent’s culture and geographic area to help increase racial equity
  • Learn how to navigate the local child welfare system from the parent mentor
  • Learn what to expect at court dates from the parent mentor
  • Learn how to accept support from a parent mentor
  • Learn how to access helpful resources from the parent mentor
  • Learn how to protect their child(ren)’s well-being from the parent mentor
  • Learn how to establish healthy environments for their child(ren) from the parent mentor
  • Increase likelihood of reunification with child(ren) or achieving best permanency option
  • Decrease risk of children re-entering out-of-home placement
  • Decrease risk of needing future child welfare services

Logic Model

View the Logic Model for ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Minnesota Parent Mentor Program (MPMP).

Essential Components

​​​The essential components of the Minnesota Parent Mentor Program (MPMP) include:

  • Practical and Emotional Support:
    • Navigating the Process: Parent Mentors inform parents on what to expect and attend court dates and meetings with parents.
    • Navigating the Case Plan: Parent Mentors make sure parents have a voice.
    • Connecting Parents with Resources: Parent Mentors help parents access community services.
    • Coaching on Parenting Strategies: Parent Mentors share tips and insights on how to protect the well-being of the parent’s child(ren).
    • Offering an Empathetic Ear: Parent Mentors listen, support, plan, and problem-solve with the parent.
  • Protective Factors:
    • In addition to aiding parents through the legal process, Parent Mentors help families establish healthy environments for their children by using five protective factors:
      • Parental Resilience
      • Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
      • Social and Emotional Competence of Children
      • Social Connections
      • Concrete Support in Times of Need
  • Designed to provide better outcomes around re-abuse and reunification
  • Celebrates as mentors the parents who have been in the child welfare and/or related systems and have done the following through change, recovery, and accountability:
    • Achieved reunification
    • Resolved issues
    • Overcame obstacles
  • Once trained, Parent Mentors:
    • Work with parents whose children are in foster or kinship care as they navigate through the system
    • Represent the cultures of clients in the system of the geographic area they serve
    • Relate not only to the experience of the system but of cultural identity and experience
    • Connect parents with cultural resources and organizations both formal and informal

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Minnesota Parent Mentor Program (MPMP) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Parents involved in the Child Protection System Parents who need to be reunified with child/children
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Other family members are involved for family group decision making and to support parents in the event reunification is not possible at the moment. Family members also act as guardians until children are reunited.

Recommended Intensity:

1-3 hours weekly, first month then 1-2 hours, weekly, as needed

Recommended Duration:

Duration of child protection case and after the case.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Birth Family Home
  • Community Daily Living Setting
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Justice Setting (Juvenile Detention, Jail, Prison, Courtroom, etc.)
  • Public Child Welfare Agency (Dept. of Social Services, etc.)
  • Shelter (Domestic Violence, Homeless, etc.)
  • Virtual (Online, Telephone, Video, Zoom, etc.)


This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Access to internet, cellular device, laptop/computer with camera, and basic technology needed to perform video chat which can vary

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

  • High School diploma or equivalent
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and insurance
  • Ability to pass a criminal and Department of Human Services background check if required by Program License
  • Experience using Google Drive, Microsoft Office Suite, and/or other online platforms
  • Ability to work in a diverse environment and manage people from various racial and cultural backgrounds
  • Knowledge and experience with the child welfare system, preferably with personal family experience of prior child protection involvement
  • Ability to work with low-income populations including those who may be experiencing homelessness, unstable housing substance use disorders, and/or mental illness
  • Ability to accurately enter data into a computer system for reporting purposes

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

The manual is available through contacting the training contact below.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Training is by individual case - sometimes it is outsourced and/or current parent mentors can train new individuals.

Number of days/hours:

Two days & eight hours per session and Two refreshers per month (one hour a session)

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Minnesota Parent Mentor Program (MPMP).

Additional References

Barry, K., & Haight, W. (2021). CASCW core series episode 9: Child welfare practice and practice skills: Moral injury in child welfare: Interview with Dr. Wendy Haight [Audio podcast]. https://soundcloud.com/user-818593337/moral-injury-in-child-welfare-professionals

Soffer-Elnekave, R., Haight, W., & Jader, B. (2020). Parent mentoring relationships as a vehicle for reducing racial disparities: Experiences of child welfare-involved parents, mentors and professionals. Children and Youth Services Review, 109, Article 104682. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104682

Contact Information

Larene Randle Wade
Agency/Affiliation: Minnesota One Stop for Communities
Website: ​​www.mnonestop.org/parent-mentors
Phone: (612) 201-7647

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: February 2024

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2024

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2024