Parent Mentor

Parent Mentor

What is a Parent Mentor?

The Independence Local School’s Parent Mentor Program is here to help you and your child. We offer support and information to parents of special needs children. We give you the opportunity to be the best advocate for your child. This program is designed to foster parent and professional teamwork. As a parent of a special needs child, parent mentors have experienced the journey with their own child and can truly understand the challenges that parents face with raising a child with a disability.

The State of Ohio is currently the only state to have a parent mentor program, though several other states are beginning the process. Seventy-one projects are currently funded, representing 201 of Ohio's 611 school districts. The Independence Local School District started the Parent Mentor Program in 2014. 

The Independence Local School’s Parent Mentor Program offers:
  • One-to-one support to parents, to help them learn their roles and responsibilities in their child’s educational process. This can include attending I.E.P. (individual educational plan) meetings, gathering resources and information needed by a parent, meeting with parents in person or talking with them on the phone.

  • Support Group meetings for parents from Independence and Cuyahoga Heights Schools so that parents have an opportunity to meet other parents and share resources and ideas to help them through the special education process.

  • E-Blast Service that provides announcements about upcoming school and community events, educational opportunities or seminars relating to special needs or special education.

  • The development of an on-going library collection of books, pamphlets and other resources focusing on special needs that can be shared between families.

  • A monthly newsletter with local, state, and federal information regarding special education.

  • Information local workshops focusing on topics that will give parents a better understanding of their child's disability and ways to enhance their child's educational and daily living skills.

  • Support and cooperation with all district professionals who provide services to students with special needs.

  • Establishment of a communication link for parents of children with special needs through the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, workshops, and local support groups.

  • Explanation of the special education programs available through the Independence Local School District and Cuyahoga Valley Career Center.

If you would like to be included on the email list service that will provide you with the Special Education monthly newsletter and updates on resources, classes, activities and seminars, please email Eileen Hawkins with your name and email address at [email protected]. If you have any questions or need support, please do not hesitate to call Eileen at (216) 524-0424.
CLICK HERE for Ohio Department of Education Ohio's Parent Mentor Project explanation.

Parent Mentoring Resources

Inventory of Ohio's Health and Human Services Programming Inventory:
With web links, of the state programs that assist Ohioans prepare for life and the dignity of work. These programs are available at various stages of life when individuals need them most, from ensuring infants are born healthy to providing safety and security in retirement. Updated December 2016 by the Governor's Office of Health Transformation
211 Ohio Community Resource Directories:
Phone: 614-224-8146 or 2-1-1 Website: free service that connects people with available community resources and volunteer opportunities. This link will take you to an interactive map to find 2-1-1 in your area.
26055 Emery Road Warrensville Hts, OH 44128 Phone: 216.509.5015 Website: is a free and comprehensive Northeast Ohio, on-line, go-to resource for all things required to support individuals with special needs and their families. includes an easy-to-navigate community resource guide that provides the most current medical, social and rehabilitative services and access information needed to help support any aged person with special needs.


Please keep in mind that this information is a resource only. Independence Local Schools does not endorse or recommend any providers, methodologies or services from any of the groups or companies listed. We hope that you will find it a useful tool in selecting what best fits your individual and family needs.
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