The Family Advocate Floater
has a primary role on the interdisciplinary team for engaging and involving families of children through activities, practices and services that support parents as the primary nurturers, experts and teachers of their child in order to promote and sustain their child’s learning, development and life success. The Family Advocate Floater has a specific and intentional role in the following four areas of work with families
- Support of activities/strategies that promote and enhance the parent-child relationship, including encouraging parents’ involvement in the education of their child, helping parents recognize and expect “quality education;” know how to access quality schools, and learn how to advocate for the family.
- Support of the family success plan process. Work with the Family Advocate to facilitate a formalized family success planning process in which the family is provided training on the importance of setting goals and the activities to support family well-being, including family safety, health, and economic stability; to support child learning and development; to provide, if applicable, services and supports for children with disabilities, and to foster parental confidence and skills that promote the early learning and development of their children. Implement intake and family assessment procedures to identify family strengths and needs related to the family engagement outcomes as described in the Head Start Parent Family and Community Engagement Framework, including family well-being, parent-child relationships, families as lifelong educators, families as learners, family engagement in transitions, family connections to peers and the local community, and families as advocates and leaders.
- Support of the implementation of the Kingsley House Whole Family program: Assist with promoting parents to build social capital by expanding their networks, friends and neighborhoods; encouraging them to focus on health and well-being, having the ability to teach them financial literacy strategies using the Change Machine tool, and help guide them towards post-secondary and employment pathways/options to help the family reach economic stability.
- Support the Family Advocates by serving as entry point for families who choose to enter Kingsley House’s Career Pathways Program. The main responsibilities will be to conduct initial triage for those interested in the program, market services to participants so that they understand the program, as well as on-going monitoring of participation.
ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
- The Family Advocate Floater will receive all of the training of the Family Advocate role. They will assist Family Advocates in daily tasks as well as fill in when an Advocate is out sick or leaves the organization.
- Ensures that all areas of ERSEA are complete, well documented and accurate.
- Support the development and sustaining of collaborative relationships with families and serve as their primary point of contact on behalf of their child’s and their own involvement in the child’s development. Utilize all informal and formal opportunities to build and maintain the relationships.
- Support the Family Advocate in providing financial coaching to all participants. Assist with ensuring that all information is documented in Change Machine. Provide on-going monitoring of data to ensure families are moving towards economic stability through this coaching.
- Collaborate with the interdisciplinary team to promote the families’ understanding and management of their child’s behaviors, including positive approaches to discipline, as well as management of their own emotional responses utilizing Conscious Discipline techniques and Triple P.
- Collaborate with Career Pathway professionals in aiding the participants in understanding the difference between a job and a career; promote career, education or training options available; on-going follow-up with participants; documentation of outcomes in Child Plus; monitoring of all activities related to the career pathways process.
- Support work with families to identify family strengths and areas of need utilizing the Needs Assessment, PFCE Outcomes and Family Success Planning process.
- Access and disseminate resources for families that pertain to children’s healthy growth and development as well as resources to help put the family on a path to success.
- Contribute to the planning and facilitation of parent engagement activities.
- Follow HSPPS to follow up on absenteeism (including excessive tardiness) in order to identify and address barriers to children’s regular attendance and timeliness.
- Support and assist families in addressing their own emotional, physical, educational, and employment needs using the Kingsley House Whole Family model of delivery.
- Ensure that participants are up-to-date on immunization, dental and health information.
- Participate in the recruitment of families entering Early Head Start/Head Start by attending the OneApp trainings and ensuring that all verification information is put into the Salesforce system correctly and timely. Also, attend One App recruiting/verification events throughout the school year.
- Support Family Advocates in the intake/enrollment process as well as orientation with all families entering and continuing in the program.
- Support the development of strategies with families that help them appreciate and contribute to the educational activities of the program and successfully use their own voices to advocate on behalf of their children and themselves. Promote parents’ overall participation in program governance.
- Support the Family Advocates in the facilitation of Parent Committee meetings by empowering parents to leadership.
- Provide parents of children who have disabilities and/or behavioral concerns with information about special education procedural safeguards and due process rights.
- Mentor parents of children who have disabilities and/or behavioral concerns in building relationships and developing effective communication skills with Early Steps and Child Search.
- Participate in the internal planning and subsequent involvement of parents in all of their children’s program transitions from EHS to HS and from HS to kindergarten.
- Develop working relationships with other Head Start programs and/or preschool programs locally to help coordinate the successful transition of children and families from EHS to Preschool.
- Support families to initiate and maintain eligibility for childcare subsidies.
- Observe and participate in the classroom, as a strategy for supporting the goals of Family Support, as well as to support colleagues on the interdisciplinary team.
- Participate in staff meetings, trainings, staffings, case consultations and other collaborative planning meetings.
- Collaborate with the Program’s interdisciplinary team to plan, coordinate, facilitate and market parent activities and services.
- Maintain accurate records/files and document services, including entries into the agency’s management information system/ChildPlus.
- Participate in the program’s self-evaluation and continuous improvement processes, and ensure compliance with Head Start Program Performance Standards.
- Support and promote the agency’s mission and values.
- Make referrals and links children and families to needed community services; follow-up on referrals made and outcomes to help ensure family’s needs are met.
- Cultivate relationships with appropriate and effective referral agencies and individuals to enable referrals for families to receive needed services not provided by the program.
- Perform other duties as assigned, within the scope of the job description.
- Ability to establish supportive, positive relationships with children and families from diverse backgrounds, including those living in poverty, understanding of the important role staff play as ‘change agents’ to promote and enhance the parent-child relationship.
- Cultural sensitivity and competency in all interactions with both families and colleagues
- Demonstrated sense of responsibility, through good attendance, effective time management, dependability, accountability, and maintenance of strong ethical standards.
- Knowledge of effective coaching techniques and practices which can be utilized when working with all participants.
- Ability to utilize and participate in Reflective Practice and Supervision.
- Flexibility regarding the location and schedule of family support activities, being willing to work in community settings as well as home environments, and during evenings and weekends, as the needs of the service population requires.
- Knowledge of Head Start Program Performance Standards.
- Demonstrate desire to learn and keep current with new and best practices in the field, including child development and family systems/dynamics.
- Ability to work within an interdisciplinary team as a cooperative and supportive team member.
- Knowledge of state-specific regulations, such as the Child Care Assistance Program and TANF, and the role and responsibility of a Mandated Reporter.
- Knowledge of and ability to utilize interpersonal skills such as conflict resolution and/or mediation, and group facilitation.
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Intermediate computer skills, including word-processing software, and the ability to learn and master other computer technology /software programs as needed.
EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS & EXPERIENCES:
- Ability to manually operate a computer and other office/ equipment.
- Ability to travel within the community, e.g., to conduct home visits and collaborate with community agencies, which may require climbing stairs.
- Bachelor’s degree in Social Work or related field
- Minimum of two years of experience working with families in a community-based Head Start and/or other family support/family-centered program
- Ability to provide light touch coaching in all functional areas to assist families in moving from poverty to economic stability
- Able to work with diverse populations