WHAT IS A FAMILY ADVOCATE?
A Family Advocate is a valuable FRIEND!
Finds resources to meet needs
Ready to listen
Involved in your family's Head Start experience
Engages your family in goal setting
Nurtures partnerships with families
Discusses and discovers a family's strengths
One of the most unique aspects of the Head Start/Early Head Start program is the Family Services component. Each family is assigned a Family Advocate at enrollment. During enrollment, the Family Advocate begins building a relationship with the family and addresses any immediate needs (food, clothing, or shelter) and/or concerns the family may have. They will also schedule a home visit to continue to get to know the family.
Families will have the chance to learn about goal setting and participate in a Family Partnership Agreement. Advocates complete a "Strengths and Needs Assessment" with each family at enrollment. Once identified, those strengths can be used to help identify a goal. Identified strengths can be used as a part of the strategy to accomplish a goal.
Some example goals would be to further your education, find a bigger home, find a job or a better job, or many, many other things. This process is completely family driven. Advocates can help with any needed resources and are there to provide encouragement and support along the way.
They will be a familiar face and a cherished FRIEND by the end of the school year!!
Below are some guidelines for setting a goal that can help you start thinking about the process!
S.M.A.R.T. goals are...
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
Who: Who is involved?
Where: Identify a location.
Which: Identify the things you need to help accomplish it.
How will I know when it is accomplished?
How: How can the goal be accomplished?
Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time?
Does this match our other efforts/needs?
What can I do six months from now?
What can I do six weeks from now?
What can I do today?