Our Mission

The mission of the Utah Parent Center (UPC or Center) is to help parents help their children, youth and young adults with all disabilities to live included, productive lives as members of the community.

We accomplish our mission by providing accurate information, empathetic peer support, valuable training and effective advocacy based on the concept of parents helping parents.*

*The term parent is broadly defined to include anyone serving in that role.

What is the Utah Parent Center?

The Utah Parent Center, a 501c3 non-profit, is an award-winning training and information center founded in 1983 by parents of children and youth with all disabilities to help other parents facing similar challenges throughout Utah. The caring and competent staff of the UPC utilizes a proven, effective parent-to-parent model to help many thousands of parents annually.  We also represent families in many systems level activities. The UPC staff have built collaborative networks with education, health and human service professionals, agencies and organizations. The Center promotes change within community through various projects and activities.

The UPC is founded on the philosophy that parents are full partners in the decision-making processes that direct their child’s care and programs and, as such, can provide significant support to other parents in similar circumstances. Services of the Utah Parent Center are typically free.  One-on-one consultations, workshops and presentations for parents are free. There are registration costs for some conferences and there may be a small fee for large quantities of materials.

Who are the staff of the Utah Parent Center?

Staff of the UPC are primarily parents of children with disabilities. Each of them have a child of varying ages with different disabilities. Their unique perspective of being a parent themselves allows them an opportunity to provide real-life experiences and positive lessons learned.

jennie and son outside

Our staff helps parents and professionals through:

  • toll-free telephone access to the Center and trained parents (Parent Consultants) who provide information, support and referrals.
  • workshops and presentations on a variety of topics related to special education, health and other issues pertinent to the needs of families.
  • an online calendar of events.
  • online training resources, such as video modules, webinars and print resources.
  • an annual conference attended by hundreds of parents and professionals.
  • an electronic newsletter (e-Connections) which contains the latest information and updates (some availability in print for families who require copies).
  • a library of resources to help parents increase their knowledge and improve skills.
  • trained local volunteers and IEP Coaches to support parents.
  • services and supports to Spanish-speaking parents.