Community and Family Partnerships
The Head Start Program organizational structure has been designed to provide support services for children and families. Partnerships and collaboration with community resource agencies is critical in order to meet the needs of each individual family.
Family Services Associates
A Family Services Associate is provided for each classroom. All Family Services Associates are recruited from the communities in which they will work to ensure they will be familiar with the cultural background of families served as well as available resource agencies.
Children eligible for Head Start must be 3- or 4-years old by September 1 as defined by Texas state law. During Head Start recruitment and registration, Family Services Associates and school district staff assist families with completing necessary enrollment documents. Everyone who has an age-eligible child is encouraged to complete the enrollment process. Families are required to summit proof of income. The program uses the Selection Criteria of Eligibility, in conjunction with the Head Start Program guidelines, as the process for selecting children and families that are in the most need of services.
Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, which include health, nutrition, social, and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments, in addition to education and cognitive development services. The Parent Orientation Guide – Overview of Services provides details about each service area and what families can expect while their child is enrolled in the Head Start program.
Learning At Home
What better way to expand your relationship with your child than to learn with them through play? These activities are designed as a fun and engaging way to interact and learn with your child from your own home.
An extremely valuable aspect to the success of the Head Start project is the collaborative efforts made with community resource agencies. The Head Start Program is fortunate to work with numerous resource agencies in the communities of Lytle, Natalia, Devine, Medina Valley, Hondo, Bandera, San Antonio, and several nearby towns like Kerrville and Somerset. Some of the agencies include:
- WIC and County Extension Agencies
- Local health clinics and departments
- Shelters and churches
- Department of Human Services
- Texas Worksource
Through these community-agency partnerships families receive comprehensive support; collaboration reduces duplication of services.
Facts & Highlights
- One Family Services Associate is assigned between 20-30 family cases.
- Family Services Associates (FSA) are required to attain a Family Services Credential.
- Many Family Services Associates are former Head Start parents. They usually reside in the communities in which the Head Start program centers are located.
- Community resource agencies collaborate with the Head Start program to provide much-needed support for children and families.
- Family Services Associates assist families to set appointments for medical and dental follow-up based on physical and dental exam results.
- Sites hold registration and recruitment for eligible children and families. Each site has a designated enrollment number. All efforts must be made to find eligible families in each community.
- Child file records are maintained on each child and family. Comprehensive service data is collected and utilized to individualize services according to need.
- Family Services Associates provide parenting education classes.