Jo and Alan Parsons know firsthand the struggles associated with fostering and adopting children with special needs. After their own children had grown up and moved away, the couple decided to become foster parents. They parented in the foster care system for seven years and later adopted two school-aged children. Both have mental health issues and suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The Parson’s grandchild has Tourette’s Syndrome, so they have experienced the ins and outs of special needs care.

The Hereford, England family is setting up In Their Shoes, a charity to help provide resources and support for children with mental health difficulties. It will be a non-judgemental environment where parents can get help with early assessment and other resources for school. It will provide support groups and professional therapy to those in need. The focus will be on kids younger than 16 who feel social separation and educational difficulty due to poor mental health. Currently the Parsons are fundraising and looking for volunteers.

To support them, send an email to or visit their website.

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