Volunteer Programs « Utah Parent Center
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Volunteer Programs

  • IEP Coaches
  • Community Resource Volunteers (CRVs)
  • Family to Family Network

IEP Coaches

A developing resource for parents and IEP teams!

What is an IEP Coach?

IEP Coaches:

  • Are specially trained parent volunteers available through the Utah Parent Center.
  • Have current knowledge and skills to effectively support parents in regard to their role, responsibilities, and rights in the IEP process.
  • Are available to “coach” parents as they prepare for, participate in, and follow-up on IEP meetings and their role in the process of developing effective educational programs for their students with disabilities.
  • Work actively to promote a positive, effective partnership between parents, the school, and other professionals who serve their children.
  • Must demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to effectively fulfill their responsibilities in order to become actively involved in working with parents.
  • Participate in ongoing training and skill-building.

What kind of training has an IEP Coach received?

Most IEP Coaches have been associated with the UPC for some time and they have received training from the staff of the Center on a number of topics.  In addition, they participate in intensive and ongoing training to deepen their understanding, increase their knowledge, and hone their skills.  Training, support, mentoring, and assistance are available from UPC staff as they fulfill their responsibilities.  Training covers the following topics:

  • The Role and Responsibilities of an IEP Coach
  • IEP Process – “Parents As Partners”
  • Transition to Adult Life
  • Special Education Laws, Rules, and Regulations
  • Effective Communication  and Handling Difficult Situations
  • Diffusing the Anxious Parent
  • Negotiation and Advocacy Skills Training (Interest-based negotiation)
  • Dispute Resolution Processes – focusing on early dispute resolution
  • Problem-Solving and IEP Coach Role Playing
  • Setting Boundaries – Supporting Other Parents
  • UPC Volunteer Policies and Guidelines


Is there an IEP Coach in my area?

This is new program and the number of IEP Coaches is limited at this time.  Contact the Center to see if there is a Coach in your area.

For more information about IEP Coaches contact:

Esperanza Reyes, Parent Consultant and Volunteer Coordinator at esperanza@utahparentcenter.org  or

Jennie Gibson, Associate Director at jennieg@utahparentcenter.org

801-272-1051 or 1-800-468-1160

Community Resource Volunteers (CRVs or Volunteers)

CRVs have been identified throughout Utah. Each of our Volunteers is provided training, resource information and staff support to help them reach and assist parents of children with disabilities in their area.

Some of the activities in which our CRVs might choose to be involved in include:

  • Serving as a support person to parents of children with disabilities/special needs.
  • Gathering information about services available in their area and how to access those services.
  • Determining specific needs of their community and help to obtain appropriate training from the Utah Parent Center or other professionals to meet those needs.
  • Supporting, promoting and, if needed, organizing local activities of Utah Parent Center programs and projects.
  • Providing support and assistance to parents support groups in their area.
  • Identifying and helping parents of children with disabilities/special needs to access support and services (i.e. support groups, community organizations, medical services, etc.).
  • Actively working to promote a positive, effective partnership between the parents, their school and other professionals that serve their child.
  • Becoming familiar with the special education process and being prepared to support parents as they participate as team members to determine the appropriate educational program for their child.
  • Communicating with the district special education director and other professionals in various agencies as needed to help resolve parental concerns and sustain collaborative efforts.

Family to Family Network

The Utah Parent Center’s Family to Family Network is a grassroots volunteer organization composed of family leaders in various communities across Utah who have a relative with a disability.

The mission of the Family to Family Networks is to educate, strengthen and support families of persons with disabilities. They can help you by providing:

  • support through local monthly meetings, either in-person or online.
  • information and referral.
  • family to family support.
  • advocacy for families.
  • help to families who qualify or may be eligible for services from the Utah State Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD) and help them understand programs and services and how to work with service providers and support coordinators.

For more information, visit their website:  www.utahfamilytofamilynetwork.org

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