Head Start Family Advocate 1 (32.5-37.50 hrs/wk school yr) $19.50-$20.69 ($2,000 BONUS)
Westfield, MA Family Services-HS&ELP
Job Type

Position: Family Advocate 1

Hours: As Assigned

Location: As Assigned

Status: Non- Exempt

Supervisor: Family Services Supervisor

Position Summary:

The Family Advocate engages in collaborative partnership building with enrolled families and provides comprehensive case management services, in accordance with Early/Head Start Regulations and as outlined in the HS & ELP Service Delivery.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Become knowledgeable of and remain current regarding Head Start Performance Standards, the HS & ELP Service Delivery and other relevant program administrative requirements. 
  • Work closely with HS & ELP departments in the areas of health, developmentally appropriate education, mental health, nutrition, parent involvement, and other areas as required.
  • Must demonstrate ability to work in partnership with families and have a professional demeanor.
  • Must be able to follow direction as well as work independently and as part of a team, manage multiple tasks, meet deadlines, and adjust to a fluctuating work pace.
  • Recruit, welcome, enroll and orient families to the Program; support family participation and involvement in the program on all levels.
  • In collaboration with the family, assess family strengths and needs, identify goals, and maintain ongoing contact to follow through on progress towards meeting goals.
  • Complete two or more home visits per year.
  • Must be or become knowledgeable of a wide range of community resources for low-income families with young children. 
  • Provide referrals to community resources and ensure appropriate follow up.  
  • Must demonstrate very good organizational, verbal and written communication skills.
  • Must display experience in Word and Internet Explorer, including competence with email, word processing, and data entry.
  • Ensure integrity of family service data through regular data entry and reporting. Must be able to understand and be able to use PROMIS for job related data entry and tracking.
  • Establish and maintain family files and ensure the completeness and accuracy of these files at all times. 
  • Monitor and obtain needed enrollment, health, educational and developmental information within prescribed timelines, as defined by Federal and State Regulations and HS & ELP procedures.
  • Prepare for and participate in regular Child and Family Reviews and Case Management meetings.
  • Prepare regular activity reports and participate in ongoing supervision. In collaboration with supervisor, create and maintain professional development plan Participate in trainings, as scheduled.
  • Must be able to travel to all HS & ELP sites.
  • Must display cultural competence and be sensitive to the needs of families with lower incomes. 
  • Monitor excessive absence reports and follow up with family and educators as necessary.
  • Review and assess transportation needs, at enrollment and quarterly. 
  • Maintain good in-house relationships with all other staff members and with community partners.
  • Must adhere to agency confidentiality policies.
  • Produce evidence of a good driving record and be able to be covered under Community Action’s non- owned and hired vehicle policy.

Essential Qualifications:

Associate’s degree in Human Services or related field and 1-year experience in Human Services or related field, and 6 months case management experience or a credential or certification in social work, human services, family services, counseling or a related field and at least 2 years of experience in Human Services or related field and 6 months case management experience. Experience working with families with low-incomes preferred. Must demonstrate excellent professional judgment, very good verbal and written communication skills and the ability to prioritize and organize work. Must be computer literate and disciplined with file upkeep/review and data entry tasks. Familiarity with Early Head Start and/or Head Start Programs and bilingual preferred.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

The physical demands and work environment described below are representative of those that must be met

by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The employee is frequently required to sit, stand, walk, talk, use a keyboard and climb stairs. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 40 pounds. Must be able to engage in activities that include bending, floor activities, and lifting young children 2 months to 5 years of age. The employee must have the ability to be added to Community Action’s non-owned and hired vehicle policy, and drive a personal vehicle.

The employee will spend time in an office space as well as the classroom and outdoors. The noise level in the office is usually quiet. The noise and activity level in the classroom may be moderately high. There is occasional exposure to outdoor weather.

Employment is contingent upon the following: a satisfactory a Background Record Check (BRC), required by Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and its licensed programs, which includes Criminal Offender Record information (CORI), Department of Children and Families (DCF) background check, Sex Offender Registry information (SORI) checks, fingerprint-based national and state criminal history database checks, National Sex Offender Registry (NCOR), and Out-of-State checks (CORI, SORI, DCF) if an individual has lived in another state within the last five years.

BRC and fingerprinting-based national and state criminal history check is to be completed every three years. In addition, employment is contingent on evidence of physical exam within the past year, plus verification of MMRs and TB. Documentation of subsequent physical exams must be submitted exam every 2 years.