The life of migrant and seasonal farmworker families is particularly hard. Long days are spent in the baking sun, harvesting by hand the nation's fruits and vegetables. This hard scrabble existence is the only life most migrant farmworkers have ever known, but they endure, knowing that through their labor they are providing their children with an opportunity for so much more.
At East Coast Migrant Head Start Project, we understand the aspirations of migrant and seasonal farmworker parents and partner with our parents to make those aspirations a reality. At each center, we employ Family Service Coordinators and Family Service Workers whose job is to recruit eligible families into our program. Once enrolled, our coordinators and workers develop with the parents written family partnership plans that identify the parents' goals and match parents with community-based organizations that will work with families to attain those goals. ECMHSP supports families’ participation in a variety of leadership and program policy development opportunities. Families can actively participate in decision making at the program and center meetings and at the grantee level.
A key component of the ECMHSP parent and family engagement efforts will be providing support for the parent-child relationship -- that bond which is critical for school and life success. Experience has taught us that we can only be successful in supporting that bond when families are shown respect for their accomplishments and for their cultural values. Staff will provide family members with options for enriching their own parenting skills and their primary role as their child’s first and most enduring teacher.
Our center-based employees are supported by Family/Community Partnership Specialists, Family Services Program Development Specialists, and a Family Service Manager. These individuals provide training and technical assistance to our coordinators and workers while also developing special programs to improve our engagement activities with parents.
If you have any questions about family services, please do not hesitate to contact Sofia Baucom, Family Services Manager, at Baucom@ecmhsp.org.