Program for Early Parent Support Programs
Neighborhood-based in-home Newborn Program
The PEPS core program is the neighborhood-based Newborn program, that serves over 2,700 families per year in King and Snohomish Counties. PEPS Newborn Groups meet in group members homes for 12 consecutive weeks in the daytime or evening in two-hour sessions. Most morning group attendees are mothers; evening groups typically include both parents. Groups are led by a trained volunteer facilitator, and meet in the homes of group members. 90% of PEPS Groups continue to meet regularly after the formal program ends.
Community Based Programs
PEPS also offers community-based groups that begin each quarter for families with older babies or two or more children. All of our community-based groups except Little Peppers are led by trained volunteers.
- Baby Peppers is for parents with an older baby, aged 5-12 months.
- PEPS for Dads groups are for Dads with babies 0-12 months old when the group begins.
- Second Time Around is for parents with a newborn and an older child where one parent attends the meeting with only the new baby.
- Little Peppers is for parents with both an infant and a toddler. Little Peppers uses paid facilitators. Baby Peppers and Little Peppers are held at several different sites in King and Snohomish Counties.
PEPS has been asked by many organizations throughout WA State, the US and internationally to bring our model to their communities. We listened, developed a strategy to respond to this need and, after working with our founding partners, created the PEPS Network
. Members of this network want to bring the PEPS model of parent peer-support groups to their parenting communities. PEPS provides training, initial and on-going consulting and a networking platform to connect providers in order to share resources and support each other.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
We are proud that over 90% of the PEPS Groups we form continue to meet regularly after their formal 12 week program ends: “PEPS was a life saver for me as a new Mom. I was in a day time Moms only group and it was perfect for the place I was in at that point. We were all very different women, including backgrounds, religions, personalities, marriages, but somehow we were still able to form a strong bond. Our kids are two now and there are at least four of us who still get together every week, the rest we see about once a month. I am so passionate about PEPS that I've now led two Newborn groups myself and feel honored to be a part of an organization that truly gets the wonderful but overwhelming early stages of parenthood.” Jessica S.
We are also proud to say that our PEPS Network currently has 7 members and is growing. We are working with the Early Intervention community to bring PEPS-based groups to parents of children who have developmental delays and other special needs. We are also partnering with agencies who serve Spanish-speaking families, to translate our materials and bring PEPS to parents who primarily speak Spanish.
We are looking to our community to invest in our #1 asset, our volunteers!
We currently form over 260 groups annually and recruit, train and place over 240 volunteers. PEPS volunteer facilitators play a critical role in being able to form more PEPS Groups and ultimately serve more parents. The volunteer group leader’s ability to effectively facilitate a PEPS Group directly impacts the overall satisfaction and outcomes of the group experience.
- To keep up with the increasing demand of volunteer recruitment and training, we need to enhance the PEPS Group Leader Guide with a professional instructional design so that we can move it to an online platform.
- In addition, we would like to add video modules over time that complement the online leader guide. This will enable PEPS to train a geographically disparate group of volunteers in real time, and it will allow the facilitators to refer back to training topics exactly when they need to access it. Online training resources will also allow us to re-connect with existing facilitators and provide them with the most updated materials in a more easily accessible format, thus limiting turnover and ensuring quality control; and it will allow us to offer trainings to organizations outside of the Puget Sound Area more efficiently and effectively.
Consistent with our commitment to making PEPS as accessible as possible, program fees represent less than 50% of the annual PEPS budget. For the remainder, we look to our community to help us continue provide a safety net for new parents.