In December 2001, a committed group of parents and professionals began forming Texas Parent to Parent (TxP2P), drawing on their experiences as parents and as professionals in child and family service organizations.
“A bunch of moms got together, and we decided that no mom should feel alone, feel helpless or see despair when times got touch when they were taking care of their child with chronic illness, disability or other special needs. We wanted moms, dads, grandmas, aunts, uncles, foster parents – whoever was providing care for the child with special needs – to have a place they could go to talk about what it felt like and to get through the really hard times. That is why we started Texas Parent to Parent. We are passionately committed to doing this. I can’t imagine a future without Texas Parent to Parent now.” — Val Sutorius, Parent
The organization held its first Board meeting in January 2002, received its IRS 501(c)3 designation in March, and began serving children and families in April. TxP2P began providing parent-to-parent services with a volunteer staff and a private donation of $15,000. Currently, TxP2P receives income from multiple sources including grants from foundations, government agencies, managed care organizations, private donations, and fundraisers.
In 2002, TxP2P received its first grant from the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities to create a medical residency program called MEd. Through this program, TxP2P trains Pediatric and Family Practice residents and other health care professionals about the challenges of living and caring for a child or youth with special health care needs. In 2004, TxP2P received a grant from what is now the Texas Department of State Health Services to provide Family Support in South Texas which grew in following years to include the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. That same year, TxP2P received federal funding through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid and later the Maternal Child Health Bureau to serve as Texas’ sole Family to Family Health Care Information Center (F2F HIC). This grant provided additional funding for parent support and trainings on health care issues across the state. Both of these grants put TxP2P on the path to reach and assist many more parents throughout the state.
In 2005, the TxP2P Statewide Parent Conference started and soon grew to become a major conference for parents of children with disabilities. It was the first statewide conference created for parents (although professionals are welcomed) created and designed by parents of children and youth with disabilities, chronic illness, and other special health care needs to meet the needs of the entire family. In 2006, TxP2P received a grant to establish the Texas Parent Group Network, which provides technical assistance to Texas parent support groups. The funding was provided by an Incentive Award from the Champions for Progress Center in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs Program.
In 2009, TxP2P became the Family Voices State Affiliate Organization for Texas. In 2010, we started our NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Family Support. The birth of a premature infant or a child who starts life in the NICU is a challenging and life altering time for a family. TxP2P has developed a network of volunteers to provide support to parents of premature infants and babies hospitalized in the NICU. Also in 2010, TxP2P became the Parent to Parent USA Alliance Member for Texas.
Early in 2011, TxP2P received funding from the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities to create the TxP2P Advocacy Network. Today, our Policy Specialists train parents, siblings, self-advocates (youth and young adults with disabilities), and other family members, friends, and other interested individuals to advocate for community-based issues that they bring to us that they believe need to be changed.
In 2012, TxP2P received funding in collaboration with Texas Children's Health Plan, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Pediatric Society to create our Pathways to Adulthood Program. As youth approach adulthood, parents face many issues assisting their young adult start their life after school. This program is designed to educate and empower parents, so they know what options are available.
In 2013, TxP2P in collaboration with Region 13 Education Service Center received a grant from Texas Education Agency to create a website for parents of children ages 0-5 years old with disabilities or special health care needs. The ParentCompanion was launched in 2014.
In 2014, TxP2P became part of the team funded through the TX Health and Human Services Commission for the Texas Taskforce for Children with Special Needs to create a statewide website for parents of children with disabilities or special health care needs. NavigateLife Texas launched in 2015 and the team continues to add information and resources. In 2016, TxP2P began partnerships with two Managed Care Organizations to assist them with STAR Kids. We partner with United Healthcare (UHC) to provide support, information, and education to their STAR Kids members as well as education to the UHC staff. We also partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) to provide education to their STAR Kids members and the BCBSTX staff. We serve as an Ombudsman for both organizations to help families who are experiencing difficulties with their services.