Piscataqua Savings Bank is the proud supporter of over 110 Seacoast area nonprofits. We’re highlighting a few of the nonprofits doing incredible, critical work in our Seacoast community with our Seacoast Spotlight Series. Next up in our spotlight is Step Up Parents, a nonprofit that has been a crucial support system for kinship caregivers in New Hampshire and Southern Maine since its launch in 2019.

Step Up Parents’ mission is to provide financial assistance and support to kinship caregivers – individuals who step up to care for, nurture, and protect children whose parents are grappling with substance use disorder. These kinship caregivers, often relatives or friends, become the unsung heroes offering stability and love to children facing the challenges of being separated from their biological parents. Step Up Parents is dedicated to supporting, honoring, and preserving the dignity and stability of these caregivers, recognizing the unique challenges they face in parenting later in life.

History: A Call to Action Becomes a Safety Net for Kinship Caregivers

After witnessing the emotional and financial challenges of her personal close friends raising their granddaughter while also caring for their daughter who was battling substance use disorder, executive director and founder Denyse Richter was moved to create Step Up Parents. What began as a heartfelt effort to assist one family in New Hampshire has now evolved into a robust safety net for kinship caregivers throughout the state, and as of this year has extended their service network to include York County in Maine.

Programs & Services

Step Up Parents aims to meet the diverse and individual needs of each family, whether it’s assistance with daycare costs, clothing, baby supplies, music lessons, legal fees, or special programs like summer camps for struggling children. The organization directly addresses the immediate financial needs of kinship caregivers by making payments to vendors and service providers on behalf of the families they support. Step Up Parents accepts applications directly from kinship caregivers, their family members, and community validators who recognize the challenges these families endure.

Since the beginning of 2023, Step Up Parents has provided assistance to 150 kinship families from New Hampshire and Maine. Their impact extends beyond numbers, reaching over 250 children who have been displaced from their parents due to parental substance abuse. The organization’s commitment to making a tangible difference in the lives of these families is evident in its proactive approach, unwavering support, and impressive track record of growth.

How To Support Step Up Parents

Piscataqua Savings Bank is proud to support Step Up Parents in their mission to support kinship caregivers facing the complexities of raising children affected by substance use disorder. As a nonprofit centered on providing financial assistance, individual and corporate giving is key to helping Step Up Parents impact as many families as possible. Step Up Parents is also currently seeking volunteers to donate time and expertise as board members, advisory committee participants, or mission ambassadors. Visit Step Up Parents online to learn more about how to get involved.

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