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
The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Parent Engagement and Self-Advocacy (PESA).
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-based Agency / Organization / Provider
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
Manuals and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
Group facilitators should have some prior experience running groups and comfort with public speaking.
There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.
There is training available for this program.
- Lisa Hunter Romanelli, PhD
phone: (212) 947-7322 x227
Number of days/hours:
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
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