Disability agency partners with Lillie Rice Center

Parent to Parent had been under the county umbrella.

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WALLA WALLA — A marriage of missions is predicted to better serve those who support a family member living with developmental disability.

Parent to Parent moved this month from under the umbrella of Walla Walla County Department of Human Services to Lillie Rice Center, gaining a new address on Isaacs Avenue and a new coordinator.

Angela Beam now heads the agency, which provides information and service to parents and others supporting a minor or adult child with special needs.

She said she realizes the shifts may cause some anxiety for client families. “We’re just trying to calmly ease into a whole lot of changes, as much as we can.”

As the county works to trim its menu of in-house services, the change from a government organization to a nonprofit offers new options for Parent to Parent, said Cynthia Knight, who stepped down this summer after two years of leading the agency.

“Most other Parent to Parent groups in the state go thought nonprofits,” Knight said. “This allows for fundraising and we could never fundraise before.”

She approached Lillie Rice Center, which gives employment and job training to adults with developmental disabilities, Knight said.

“We needed to partner with someone with a similar mission,” she said. “I feel it’s a good fit, a win-win.”

Chris Daudt, executive director of Lillie Rice Center, said her organization will contract through the county at $28,500 annually to sponsor and host Parent to Parent, a change her board of directors seconded, she said.

The new partners will each bring a different audience to the table — parents of special needs kids and the agency that will serve those same kids as adults. In turn, that will lead to a stronger community presence, Daudt believes.

In the meantime Parent to Parent will continue with its list of summer social activities for its families, Beam said.

For more information call Beam at 525-5433.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at sheilahagar@wwub.com or 526-8322.

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