About Parents Helping Parents


The mission of Parents Helping Parents of San Luis Obispo County is to empower children with special needs to reach their fullest potential. This is realized by strengthening families through parent and professional education, mutual support, referral networks and greater community awareness.


Parents Helping Parents began in 1990 as a small group of parents in San Luis Obispo County supporting each other in raising children with special needs. After organizing into a non-profit, PHP was able to get funding from larger agencies such as Early Start, Tri-Counties Regional Center, and First 5 of SLO County to expand our services. We are grateful affiliates of United Cerebral Palsy of SLO County as we work together to support our community.


Sharlene Agrusa

Sharlene has worked for Parents Helping Parents for 30 years; having an adult daughter with a developmental disability, she brings personal as well as professional experience to our agency. In the past three decades, she has developed parent education programs, support groups, and parenting network opportunities.

As the Director of PHP, Sharlene's primary responsibility is to oversee grants and contracts with our funders to provide services. She is most proud of PHP's recent development as a Family Empowerment Center.


Resource Office Manager


American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Coordinator

Rachel Edwards

Administrative Assistant

Ashlynn Bagley

Administrative Assistant

Elle Berry

North County Resource Specialist

Debra Marasco-McNulty

Bilingual Resource Specialist

Carmen Castenada


The services provided by Parents Helping Parents would not be possible without our funders.

Tri Counties Regional Center
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First Five San Luis Obispo
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Department of Education - State of California
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Family Resource Centers Network of California
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California Early Start
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Department of Developmental Services
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Family Empowerment Centers
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