Family Engagement is everybody’s business. When families are actively engaged, everyone benefits. Children will be healthier and more ready for kindergarten; Families will be more engaged programmatically; Programs will achieve higher levels of quality and Communities will provide stronger supports to the next generation. (The Head Start Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework).
Sheltering Arms partners with families and communities to ensure children are nurtured and supported at home, at school, and in their community. Family Support Staff are available at each center to work from a strength-based perspective to help parents identify their assets and goals and then link parents with needed resources to achieve these goals. Parent Education workshops, one-on-one counseling, GED or ESL classes, and presentations on health literacy or home buying are a few of the examples of services to which Sheltering Arms can link families. The Parent Leadership Organization (PLO), regular parent/teacher conferences, and family friendly events at each center help parents to develop the lifelong habit of being involved in their child’s education. As their child’s first and most important teacher parents are welcomed in the classroom. All Roads Lead to School Readiness.
Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP): Together with the Doris Duke Foundation, in 2003 CSSP recognized Sheltering Arms as one of 21 programs in the nation that provide exemplary models of how early childhood programs can help detect and prevent child abuse and neglect. Sheltering Arms was also selected to provide technical assistance to 7 states which are piloting the techniques developed through CSSP's research. Currently, Sheltering Arms is helping disseminate the best practices outlined in CSSP's Strengthening Families approach throughout Georgia through the Sheltering Arms Georgia Training Institute.
Family Development Credential: Sheltering Arms has been chosen by Temple University to be the lead agency in Georgia for Temple's Family Development Credential and Training Program.
All Pro Dad: Fathers, uncles, grandfathers, big brothers, and other male friends are involved in All Pro Dad chapters at each Sheltering Arms center. These groups bring men together with other fathers and their children for fun activities and parenting support.
iMOM: This program is a companion to All Pro Dad, only it is for moms. Moms come together to share parenting tips, exchange recipes and receive information from a variety of specialist on topics such as budgeting and homebuyer education.
Parent Feedback: Every year Sheltering Arms conducts a detailed survey to obtain feedback from our parents and families. Last year:
90% of parents report parenting skills have improved as a result of Sheltering Arms services.
"I have started to read more and try new and fun activities with my family."
"My child has advanced greatly. He has learned to read, and we have learned very helpful tips for home preparation and reading comprehension."
"Our relationship with our daughter has changed this year. She is much more aware of things that go on in our neighborhood, in nature and in the world. She asks a lot of questions, uses deductive reasoning and has a developing empathy."
"I am very thankful for all the help and information I've received this year from Sheltering Arms."
"My daughters have opened up more with adults and have learned so many new things."
"My child is excited about going to class every day. That makes life easy in the morning."
"Since we have seen our daughter's progress, I have seen my husband more excited about her learning something new each week."
"Because my grandchild attends school here I was able to attend school and graduate last year and again this year. Thanks for your serving me and my grandchild."