Pennsylvania Parents and Caregivers Resource Network

Quick Ideas

Networking

What is networking? It usually is one to one personal contact for information or support by phone, mail, e-mail, or in person through connected formal or informal ways.

Networking expands groups beyond the meeting times and includes those who cannot attend meetings. When groups are unable to meet regularly, or if they disband, the members often keep in touch through phone and mail networking. Networking provides an easy way to obtain support and information. It also relieves the isolation that so many parents experience. Networking may be the only way that parents in rural or urban areas, where there is no bus transportation or there are other hindrances, can feel part of a group and receive information and support. Networking provides many of the same benefits of belonging to a group. Parents who are networking feel strengthened by being connected to each other while sharing similar experiences, goals, difficulties, hopes, fears and information. Networking can be especially helpful for politically active groups who may wish to increase their opportunities for achieving their goals.

Where can networking occur?

It can occur almost anywhere there is another person! Networking possibilities may include family and friends and neighbors and:

  • professionals in businesses, agencies and government systems.
  • faith based organizations, community members and co-workers.
  • parent group members and other parent/family disability groups

Networking can also result by belonging to or creating:

  • a mutual support phone network
  • a mentor parent or parent to parent network
  • a disability specific network
  • an advocacy, activist, or lobbying network
  • an e-mail listserve and/or an Internet Web site

Networking can be expanded by:

  • telling others about your or your groupís area of interest.
  • sharing printed materials about your group as often as possible.
  • linking to groups in your community, state and nation who have similar interests.
  • a newsletter and/or community bulletin board or newspaper announcements.
  • having your name included on groups, agencies, school and legislative mailing lists.
  • attending meetings/conferences regarding your area of interest.

717-561-0098 PPCRN 1-888-5-PARENT



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