Under the direction of the Family and Health Coordinator, the Family and Health Advocate (II) provides direct services to families at assigned sites, including intensive support services and regularly scheduled home visits for families enrolled in Prevention Initiative. The FHA (II) works collaboratively with sites and the Head Start/Early Head Start/Preschool for All/Prevention Initiative team to deliver services that fulfill HS, EHS, PFA, and PI requirements in the areas of: ERSEA (Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, and Attendance), PFCE (Parent, Family and Community Engagement), Health and Nutrition, Inclusion, and Social Emotional.
Develop and maintain professional relationships with administrative and teaching staff at assigned sites; provide support and monitoring to assist sites in meeting the Head Start performance standards and PFA/PI requirements.
Develop and maintain a regular schedule of site visits (four days per week if assigned to one site, or two days per site per week if assigned to two sites) to ensure implementation of HS/EHS/PFA/PI services and ongoing contact with families. Schedule will include regular after-hours events, such as parent workshops, and frequent and ongoing flexibility (early morning and evening appointments/meetings/home visits as needed) to meet the schedules of families.
Build trusting relationships with families and provide ongoing support through: significant monthly contact with each family according to the requirements of each program; family needs assessment and goal-setting; referrals and services, follow-up, and advocacy to meet family needs and interests; implementation of Baby TALK parent engagement curriculum.
Encourage enrollment of eligible families into the PI program by describing the benefits as well as the requirements.
For families enrolled in PI, meet with each family in their home and/or community location twice per month for one hour, utilizing the Baby TALK home visit model to facilitate parent-child activities, provide developmental guidance, and work on identified goals.
For families enrolled in PI, utilize the PICCOLO assessment tool and the Baby TALK model to support parent-child interactions.
For sites with PI, plan and facilitate at least one group parent-child socialization activity per month.
Implement the Baby TALK model and curriculum to fidelity for families enrolled in PI.
Promote literacy by increasing families’ access to materials and encouraging involvement in classroom activities.
Maintain full enrollment of Head Start/Early Head Start/PFA/PI children at assigned sites through ongoing recruitment, eligibility determination, and development of a waiting list; fill vacancies within 30 days.
Implement attendance follow-up procedures, including home visits as needed, to support regular attendance.
Work with site staff to ensure that enrolled children remain up-to-date on well-child visits, physicals, immunizations, EPSDT-required screenings, vision and hearing, and dental exams; follow up with families and doctors’ offices as needed.
Collaborate with teachers and instructional coaches to assist families to understand their child’s development through providing resources and referrals.
Collaborate with teachers to communicate with the parent when there are developmental, social emotional, or behavioral concerns for which a referral is recommended.
Schedule SRT (Screening Review Team) and Social Emotional Review Team meetings with the parent and team within the required timeframe and facilitate the meetings.
Accompany and support families at IEP/IFSP meetings and through the process of enrolling their child in services; support parents in advocating for their goals for their child.
Work with staff and Social Emotional Specialists/Consultants to identify specific children/classrooms needing social emotional services; participate in planning and feedback meetings; follow up with families.
Work with sites to encourage parent participation in site-level Parent Committees and agency-wide Policy Council (PC) (Suburban).
Coordinate parent elections for Parent Committee officers and PPC/PC Representatives.
Participate with Parent Committees and sites, plan annual Parent Involvement Activity Calendar and Budget, including: annual Parent Orientation; Parent Committee meetings; parent workshops; and parent-child activities. Coordinate and be present for these activities, and compile documentation into PFCE binder.
Maintain complete and accurate records in the COPA system, including, but not limited to: demographic information, enrollment dates, family needs assessments, family goals, referrals, and services, case notes, and follow-up.
Maintain complete and accurate child/family binders.
Utilizing COPA, Tableau, and Smartsheets, implement tracking to ensure required timelines are met.
Maintain complete and updated Community Resource Board at sites.
Submit all required paperwork accurately and in a timely manner and attend all required meetings.
Complete and submit site verification forms and maintain Outlook calendar.
Participate in Enrollment/Recruitment Campaign, annual self-assessment, community assessment, and PIR.
Contribute to achievement of Program Goals, School Readiness goals, and PFCE goals.
All other duties as assigned.
Bachelor’s degree or higher in social work, human services, family services, counseling, or a related field; or, bachelor’s degree in another field with the following to be earned within 18 months of hire: Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Family Specialist Credential.
Home Based CDA, Infant Toddler CDA, or 12 credit hours in EC or child development; or, Home Based CDA to be earned within 24 months of hire.
1 to 3 years of experience working with families of young children
Bilingual, both oral and written ability in English/Spanish preferred
Head Start Performance Standard
Valid driver’s license
Travel to Easterseals and partner sites regularly
Able to establish rapport and build trusting relationship with families.
Demonstrates a non-judgmental, compassionate, and culturally sensitive approach to working with families.
Demonstrates a communication style that is open, adaptable, reflective, engaging, honest, and culturally sensitive.
Ability to visit families in home and community settings, and to work flexible hours, including evenings, to meet family needs.
Ability to engage in reflective learning practices and to utilize constructive feedback in order to inform work with families.
Ability to work well with all levels of the organization, partner sites, other agencies and funding source personnel.
Demonstrates the ability to conceptualize and articulate program outcomes.
Ability to manage multiple projects.
Well organized, highly detail oriented and accuracy driven.
Excellent interpersonal skills.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
ADA: Easterseals will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act of 1990. Unless exempted by the Americans with Disabilities Act, all persons hired for this position are required to possess the ability to perform the physical tasks necessary to treat clients, i.e., bending, floor-sitting, etc., as well as to have the ability to lift up to 50 pounds frequently.
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