Community Action’s Head Start Combination Option classroom in Carthage operates three days per week, with each enrolled child receiving a home visit from a teacher/family service worker once per month. The child’s teacher also serves the role of family worker for the parent, offering resources, education, referrals and goal planning assistance for the parent. The “combination option,” a combination of classroom time and home visits, makes for a great connection between home and school, and serves the entire family.
Recently one of the combination option teachers worked closely with a mom who found herself a single parent for the first time. The mom was not only unsure of how to make things work financially, but was also struggling to get her child to school consistently. Mom’s teacher/family worker visited the home for over two hours and they problem-solved together. The teacher shared the phone numbers of numerous resources and support Mom could obtain in the community, including Community Action’s Family Center, the Department of Social Services, and WIC services.
In addition to the typical monthly home visit, the family worker touched base with the mom by phone on a weekly basis. During their last phone conversation, mom said she has made all the necessary phone calls and this month will not be nearly as hard of a financial struggle as last month. At the end of the conversation she told the staff: “I am not looking back, I can do it!”
The staff at Carthage consider this a real success story. The center serves qualifying 3 and 4 year old children and their families. Many 3 year old children return to the center when they are 4, attending a five-day-a-week classroom.
For more information about Head Start in Jefferson County, contact us or call 315.782.4900, x 236.
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