Mentoring Program Links Parents to Help Kids

Are you a parent of a child newly diagnosed with diabetes? Are you a parent of a child who has been living with diabetes for years? The American Diabetes Association plans to bring both groups together with its parent-mentoring program.

Some local Association offices have offered parent mentoring before, but now a streamlined program will make it easier to match families based on the age of their children at diagnosis, type of diabetes, gender, and location, says Jennifer Puryear, director of youth and new patient initiatives. “Talking to another parent who has gone through the same things, and felt the same feelings, is sometimes even more comforting than a doctor saying your kid’s going to be OK,” Puryear says. Parents will be able to chat in person or via phone or video based on what works best for them, she adds.

Parents who are experienced in helping their children manage diabetes are encouraged to sign up to become mentors through the ADA’s online Volunteer Center ( Potential mentors will then work through their local offices to complete an application, receive online training, and pass a background check, before they’re matched with mentees.

Parents of newly diagnosed children can sign up for mentoring at or by filling out a form found in the ADA’s Everyday Wisdom kit, a resource for families of children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Everyday Wisdom kits may be ordered at no cost at or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).