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Services at Allegheny Family Network:

AFN delivers services through individual parent-to-parent support, support groups, parent education opportunities, the Parent Support Line, the Provider Consultation Line, and social events.


Comprehensive Family Peer Support (Individual parent-to-parent support) Services include:

Behavioral Health Family Peer Support offers family support to Allegheny County parents and caregivers who have a child who is at risk or is diagnosed with a behavioral health concern.  Through the assistance of Family Support Partners, parents are given emotional support, are linked with community resources, are taught self-advocacy skills, and are empowered to reach their goals. The experiences the FSPs gained by facing their own life challenges with children with similar needs, provide them with the ability to serve as mentors and role models to the families they support.  


Joint Planning Team Family Peer Support (JPT), otherwise known as “High Fidelity Wraparound” is a structured, team-based process that uses an evidence-based, nationally recognized model that partners with families to use their voice and strengths to develop a family driven plan that promotes self-advocacy. Participating families have children and adolescents experiencing complex mental health needs. Children and families who are encountering multiple system challenges engage in a process that nurtures their strengths and helps them to identify and implement new strategies to keep their families together and plan for their own needs.     

AFN’s Joint Planning Team FSPs are credentialed by the Youth and Family Training Institute.  They assist family members in carrying out the steps to achieve their goals and help them to identify and develop supports in friends, families, and other natural resources.   


Strengthening Families Through Family Peer Support is a partnership with the Office of Children, Youth and Families. This service supports child welfare involved families to understand what they may need to achieve to keep their family together or have their children returned to their home.  FSPs help parents obtain needed resources, support them in carrying out court mandates, prep them for important meetings, attend court with them, participate in CYF Conferencing & Teaming Meetings and school meetings, and provide encouragement and hope.


Fathers Involved Now Family Peer Support (FIN) is a dynamic father’s service that promotes partnership between the fathers who are raising children with behavioral challenges and the child serving system. The FIN FSPs are fathers who understand the important role fathers play in their children’s lives.  They coach fathers, many of whom have not parented their children, to develop meaningful relationships with their children.  Events geared to provide fun and significant interactions between fathers and their children are planned throughout the year.


Foster Family Peer Support prepares foster parents to meet the challenges of fostering adolescents.  Using their own experiences in fostering adolescents, the Foster Family FSPs help parents understand how the traumas their foster child has experienced impacts their behavior and helps them build understanding relationships.


Steps to Connect supports parents in affirming their child who identifies as LGBTQI+.  The support of FSPs who struggled to accept and affirm their own child’s choices has been found to be incredibly helpful to parents who are facing the same emotional challenge.  The goal is to strengthen the bond between parent and child and keep the family together.


Employment and Housing Support Services are supplemental services offered to families enrolled in individual services through AFN.  The Employment Specialist and the Housing Coordinator help parents find employment and housing by listening closely as they describe their interests and needs and working with them to achieve their goals.   


Group Supports include:

Circle of Parents is a self-help support group model designed for parents who struggle with providing positive reinforcement to their children. The groups are free, confidential, anonymous, and non-judgmental and promote positive and non-abusive parenting. Through conversation and mutual support, the groups offer parents the opportunity to talk with each other about the parenting challenges they face and ways to improve the emotional health of their families.  Parents learn from each other and are sources of strength to one another. The group is led by an FSP Group Facilitator and a Parent Leader.  Groups are on-going, require no intake, and with few exceptions, are open to all parents. Quality childcare and bus tickets are provided to minimize barriers to participation. AFN is the Pennsylvania State Chapter for the Circle of Parents.  


Support Groups designed to bring parents together for discussion and sharing are offered in-person and virtually. AFN’s support groups are facilitated by FSPs and Lead Parents and are offered to parents or caregivers who are raising children with behavioral or mental health needs.  Participation in the groups provide parents opportunities to share experiences without judgement, and develop a sense of belonging and empowerment, and build leadership skills. 


Building the Champion in You is a workshop for fathers who are looking for opportunities to build strength and belief in themselves as male role models within their families and communities.  Participants explore their interactions with their selves, their children, and their families and develop parenting and advocacy skills.


Group support opportunities vary according to interest and need with groups forming at various times and in various locations.


Other services include:

Adult Education Services are offered to participants throughout Allegheny County. Classes are taught by a certified teacher and students receive peer support from a Parent Facilitator and Program Supervisor. In addition to the GED preparation classes, the staff assist students in goal setting, connecting to resources, and enrolling in continuing education opportunities.  Graduation and other accomplishments are celebrated in grand style.


Childcare services are often provided to enable parents and caregivers to participate in support groups, educational opportunities, events, and other offerings. 


Parent Support Line offers the opportunity to talk confidentially with a trained staff member to share their concerns and receive support. Families are offered emotional support, ways to obtain tangible resources, and information about community and behavioral health services.  In addition, families are offered on-going, parent to parent individual supports. Calls to the Parent Support Line are answered from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Monday through Friday   Families are asked to leave a message if they call after these hours and their call is returned the following business day. The number for the AFN Family Support Line is 888-273-2361.


Provider Consultation Line serves to assist providers in determining how to interact with family members from a family support framework.  Providers including those from child protection services, behavioral health, and juvenile justice call for assistance in several areas:

  • identifying those families who could benefit from family support;

  • understanding how to address challenges with engaging parents, sustaining contact, and overcoming barriers;

  • requesting FSP attendance at specific meetings or visits to provide support to the parent, along with providers, such as at court or an IEP or Conferencing and Teaming meeting;

  • helping a parent understand and accept a court mandate or a therapy suggestion;

  • requesting a presentation of the array of AFN services.  

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