Head Start Connects Children and Families with Community Services
SSYCS Head Start develops partnerships with organizations that provide families access to services that are available in their community.
Head Start would not be possible without parent involvement. Furthermore, studies have shown that children are more successful in school when their parents are involved. As a result here at SSYCS Head Start, single parent families are encouraged to volunteer 10 hours a month; two parent families are encouraged to volunteer 15 hours a month – any relative 18 or older can do the volunteer hours. However, a child’s enrollment is not conditional upon a family’s participation in and completion of the volunteer hours.
There are many opportunities for volunteer activities and many can be done at home as well as in the classroom. Here are a few ideas:
At the school…
- Read to children.
- Share a story or song from your childhood.
- Bring photos, pictures, clothing, musical instruments, etc. from your culture to share with the children.
- Plan and carry out an art, movement, music, math, science, or other activity.
- Participate in observation and assessment of children.
- Make suggestions about classroom materials or set up.
- Supervise the playground.
- Conduct the required daily safety check of the playground.
- Set up the playground equipment.
- Plant a tree, or flowers…or a garden.
- Plan field trips.
- Attend field trips.
- Help evaluate our program – self assessment.
- Help make lunch.
- Eat with the children.
- Tape a story or song in your native language.
- Sew doll clothing, or wash and repair doll clothes.
- Be in charge of communication – to notify about/invite other parents to events.
- Write a parent newsletter.
- Make games and felt-board stories.
- Cut things out for projects.
- Gather collage materials.
- Provide childcare for a parent volunteering in the classroom – trade off, so you will both be receiving credit for volunteer hours.
- Make a birdhouse for a tree outside the classroom.
- Care for classroom pets on weekends or holidays.
- Refurbish/repair classroom materials/furniture.
Community Partnership Advisory Committee (CPAC)
Head Start convenes parents and staff of community agencies twice each year to facilitate community collaboration and to link community resources to the families that we serve.
The SSYCS Head Start Community Partnership Advisory Committee is a convening group of community resource agencies that enrolled families have identified as providing resources and services that are useful to them. The goal is to provide a forum for agencies in order for SSYCS Head Start to address service delivery gaps, develop support systems and networks, and advocate for common issues that affect many social service agencies.
FAMILY PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS
The Family Partnership Agreement (FPA) is a time-oriented working plan made between the family and their family worker to assist the family in goal setting and/or addressing any needs that may arise in the family. Strategically with the family worker, the family will develop a plan to achieve any goals and needs. Parents will be empowered with community referrals that will assist in meeting needs.
Secondly, the partnership serves as a connector between the family, the community, the classroom, and the services provided by Head Start (health, nutrition, mental health, education, disability and parent involvement). SSYCS family support specialist serves as the mediator between the family and other service areas by ensuring that the family receives services in a timely and efficient manner.
EXAMPLES OF PAST GOALS SET BY PARENTS
- Going back to school
- Kindergarten readiness
- Healthy eating habits in home
EXAMPLES OF PAST NEEDS
- Speech and Language
- Adequate housing
- Bus transportation
- Family counseling
Communication between the family and the family worker is key in order to have a successful partnership. Each family worker will be contacting parents concerning the Family Partnership Agreement.
Family Engagement & Community Partnerships