Parent Peer Advocacy, Mentoring, and Support in Child Protection: A Scoping Review of Programs and Services

Yuval Saar-Heiman, Jeri Damman, Marina Lalayants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parent peer advocacy, mentoring, and support programs, delivered by parents with lived child protection (CP) experience to parents receiving CP intervention, are increasingly recognized internationally as inclusive practices that promote positive outcomes, but little is known about what shared characteristics exist across these types of programs and what variations may exist in service delivery or impact. This scoping review examines 25 years (1996–2021) of empirical literature on these programs to develop a systematic mapping of existing models and practices as context for program benefits and outcome achievement. Method: Studies were selected using a systematic search process. The final sample comprised 45 publications that addressed research on 24 CP-related parent peer advocacy and support programs. Data analysis explored how programs were studied and conceptualized and examined their impact on parents, professionals, and the CP system. Results: Substantial variation in program settings, target populations, aims, advocate roles, and underlying theoretical frameworks were identified. Across program settings, existing empirical evidence on impact and outcomes also varied, though positive impacts and outcomes were evident across most settings. Conclusions: Findings from this review highlight the need to account better for parent peer advocacy and support program variations in future practice development to ensure alignment with inclusive and participatory principles and goals. Future research is also needed to address current knowledge gaps and shed light on the impact of these differences on individual, case, and system outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 16
Number of pages17
JournalPsychosocial Intervention
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Feb 2024

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