One of the goals of Family Services is to assist families in making use of their own resources in combination with the resources available in the community. FOCAF believes all people have individual strengths, but may be at different levels of coping with daily challenges. Staff is available to assist families in setting individual goals and reaching those goals. A family’s decision in setting its own goals is always respected by FOCAF staff.
Your Family Advocate/Family Educator:
Family Advocates and Family Educators help families to identify strengths and needs. S/he can provide assistance with community resource referrals in health care, education, mental health, economic assistance, food, and housing.
Ways to use your Family Advocate
1. Resource person: We can help connect you to resources in the community. Ask away! If we don’t know, we’ll find out.
2. Coach/cheerleader: Are you working on any goals? We can help you stay motivated and help cheer you on as you complete each step. We can help you form a game plan and get on your way to winning!
3. Facilitator: Would you like to do an activity with other parents? Want to start a support group? Want some time together with other families? Your Family Advocate can help you do these things!
4.Listener: Are you having a tough day? Do you feel overwhelmed or just down? Call your Family Advocate. Sometimes having someone to talk to can help!
5.Crisis: We might be able to provide the referral you need or work on strategies with you.
6.Parenting support and resources: We realize that parenting is the most difficult job in the world, as well as the most important. We know that you are your child’s first and primary teacher. We can help provide strategies and support, including Head Start sponsored parenting classes and workshops.
7.Head Start Contact: We can answer questions or tell you who can!
Family Home Visits:
Families enrolled with Head Start will complete 1 Center Orientation and 3 home visits with their Family Advocate during the school year. Additionally, Teachers will complete 2 home visits and 2 Family Staff Conferences with families at the center. Early Head Start families will complete home visits weekly with their Family Educator. Home visits are designed to help provide resources, set goals, and complete activities with families. Please speak with your Family Advocate or Family Educator if you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming home visits.
Early Head Start and Head Start Family Partnership Agreement:
No matter where you are in your life, it is important to look ahead to where you eventually want to be and set appropriate goals to get there! Every family enrolled in Early Head Start/Head Start has the opportunity to participate in the development of a Family Partnership Agreement. This process can help you define your family’s short-term and long-term goals in areas you identify.
Child Abuse and Neglect - Prevention and Reporting
As a child development program, FOCAF has the responsibility to provide a safe and nurturing environment that supports the healthy development of every child and family. Through training and program policies, FOCAF takes precautions to prevent neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse of children both inside and outside the program. FOCAF staff and volunteers are “mandated reporters.” This means they are legally responsible to report all known or suspected cases of child neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse within 24 hours. All suspected cases of abuse or neglect are reported to the Family Services Manager and to one of the following agencies:
Dept. of Health & Welfare, Child Protection Division (Ada County) 334-5437
Dept. of Health & Welfare, Child Protection Division (Elmore County) 334 -5437
Please feel free to talk to your Family Advocate/Family Educator/Classroom Teacher(s) about stressers that may be affecting you or your family. Should a family become involved with Child Protection Services, FOCAF staff will provide support and refer individuals/families to community medical and social services resources, as requested or as needed.