PROGRAM SUMMARY: Easterseals Early Learning Center- Hickory Hills provides inclusive early childhood and education services for children between the ages of six weeks to five years of age. The Center is a part of Easterseals broader programming in Head Start/Early Head Start. Easterseals Head Start/Early Head Start provides high-quality, family-centered education for children birth to five years old. We collaborate with 40+ early childhood programs located in the city of Chicago and suburban Cook County to promote school readiness in young children of all abilities from families with incomes below poverty guidelines. In addition to the Hickory Hills location, Easterseals also directly operates the Gilchrist Marchman Child Development Center in Chicago.
POSITION LOCATION: This position is located at the Easterseals Early Learning Center- Hickory Hills at 8020 W. 87th St., Hickory Hills, IL 60457.
$2,000 Signing Bonus offer extends until the end of January 2023.
POSITION SUMMARY: Under the direction of the Hickory Hills Site Supervisor and Family and Health Coordinator, the Family and Health Advocate provides direct services to families, including intensive support services and regularly scheduled home visits for families enrolled in Prevention Initiative. The FHA works collaboratively with the central leadership team 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.
- Assist in the identification and implementation of center goals related to families and monitor progress toward them.
- Provide support to assist the center and other family support staff in meeting the Head Start performance standards and PFA/PI requirements.
- Develop and maintain professional relationships with administrative, teaching, and other staff.
- Develop and maintain a regular schedule to ensure implementation of HS/EHS/PFA/PI services and ongoing contact with families. The 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 utilize the Baby TALK model to facilitate parent-child activities, and parent-child interactions, provide developmental guidance, and work on identified goals.
- For families enrolled in PI, utilize 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 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 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 site staff 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.
- With Parent Committees and site staff, 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 a 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-ups.
- 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.
- Submit all required paperwork accurately and in a timely manner and attend all required meetings.
- Complete and submit verification forms and reports as needed and maintain Outlook calendar.
- Participate in Enrollment/Recruitment Campaigns, annual self-assessment, community assessment, and PIR.
- Contribute to the achievement of Program Goals, School Readiness goals, and PFCE goals.
- Assist with staffing to ensure DCFS and HS/EHS ratios are met; provide coverage to classrooms as needed, including covering breaks and substituting in the classroom in the absence of a teacher.
- Implement an active supervision system to promote the safety of children.
- All other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher in social work, human services, family services, counseling, or a related field; or, a bachelor’s degree in another field with the following to be earned within 18 months of hire: Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Family Specialist Credential. and
- 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.
- DCFS Director Qualified preferred
- 1 to 3 years of experience working with families of young children
- Bilingual, both oral and written ability in English/Arabic preferred
- Head Start Performance Standard
- MS Office
- Valid driver’s license
- Auto insurance
- Reliable vehicle
- Travel to Easterseals regularly
- Able to establish rapport and build trusting relationships 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.