Community And Partnership

OVERVIEW

When we share responsibility for common goals, we can achieve great things. Pro Action has a strong track record for engaging in meaningful partnerships to build the community we envision. Whether as a leader or a participant, Pro Action works to actively integrate services within the agency and with external partners in order to produce optimal benefits for and with our customers and the community.

Kids on Track Steuben

Kids on Track Steuben is the Implementation Partnership in Steuben County advancing the goals of United Way of the Southern Tier’s Kids On Track initiative. The overarching goals of Kids On Track include school readiness, grade-level academic performance at 3rd grade, and high school completion. To advance these goals, the Kids On Track Implementation Partnership coordinates the efforts of multiple programs to achieve outcomes in the areas of child development and safe, nurturing environments for children. We have a Community of Practice that meets quarterly to oversee the advancement of our key strategies to achieve these outcomes: universal home visiting, early detection and treatment for delays, creating contexts for healthy child development in all settings where children spend time, developing school-based family resource centers, adopting consistent behavior management approaches across settings, and spreading practices for effective teaching and learning across settings. Work done in Communities of Practice last year have yielded the following results:

  • A centralized funnel process for referrals coming to the partnership of home visiting programs operating in the county, and a stronger stream of referrals coming from Guthrie and Noyes (meaning important family support services are being offered and delivered to more families.)
  • Development of a centralized database (COMET) to better coordinate referrals and services for children and families in Steuben County
  • Widespread use of the New Parent Kit from New York State Parenting Education Partnership among programs serving expectant and new parents
  • Coordination of work practices among partners to use and teach to parents consistent approaches to social-emotional development and behavior guidance for children
  • A consistent approach to assessing program effectiveness in family –serving programs (Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support)
  • Agreement on Strengthening Families / Protective Factors Framework approach to build protective factors with families; agreement on use of the Protective Factors Instrument to assess presence of protective factors in families served
  • “Pop-up” Family Resource Centers at WIC clinics and other locations in small towns and neighborhoods
  • Greater community awareness of the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences; more widespread use of intentional resilience-building tools in scope of service
  • Pro Action’s participation in the Finger Lake’s Resiliency Network’s Trauma-informed Learning Community

Helpful Forms:

School Districts

Pro Action is the lead agency for Head Start, serving Steuben and Yates Counties. In this role, Pro Action partners with several area school districts to deliver Universal Prekindergarten (UPK). Local school districts receive funding from New York State Department of Education to support UPK services. Local school districts ensure UPK services through a variety of classroom settings, including those operated directly by the school district and those operated by community partners. Pro Action Head Start is one of these community partners. In several local school districts, we provide Universal Prekindergarten programming in center-based classroom settings, five days per week throughout the school calendar year.

Steuben County

Pro Action works in close partnership with the Steuben County Department of Social Services and Office for the Aging to deliver several services including Child Care Subsidy, HEAP, One Stop Career Centers, Senior Nutrition, T.A.S.A., and Wheels for Work.

Yates County

Pro Action administers the Yates County Office for Aging in close partnership with the County. Through this very successful partnership, Pro Action offers a range of services for seniors including information and referral services, health and wellness services, and in-home services

School Re-opening Child Care Response

Our community is facing an URGENT NEED to expand child care to meet the need for children and youth to attend virtual classes away from school this school year, while their parents might still need to go to work. We surveyed 352 parents throughout the county specifically about child care this fall and found that only a little more than half have a plan in place for child care for September, as of August 24th (View the summary of our survey results HERE). Of the parents who wanted more information to help them make plans, the most frequently selected information wanted was about child care on days their child is virtually learning outside of the school building.

It is crucially important for both children and older youth to have supervised, safe environments where they can learn when their parents are at work. Plus, it is essential for student learning that they attend classes every day, and have support from an adult to be fully engaged when learning remotely. Our child care and youth programs aren’t currently set up to serve the high volume of young people who now need their services. Capacity must expand to provide relief for families worried about how to care for their children while they are not in school buildings.

WHAT WE ARE DOING ABOUT IT:

Pro Action Kids On Track with key partner Child Care Aware® of Steuben and Schuyler is coordinating efforts in Steuben County as follows:

  • Connect families with existing child care options. As always, families seeking child care should call Child Care Aware 776-2126 and speak with Michelle Smith.
  • Expand child care and youth programs into donated spaces (churches, fire halls, etc.). This means that experienced programs will oversee the activities taking place in donated spaces, will orient the volunteers, and will manage all COVID-19 protocols necessary for everyone’s safety. This involves working closely with local funders to keep costs at a minimum for parents.
  • Provide useful information to parents considering parent pods. Many parents are considering teaming up with other families to oversee children on virtual learning days. Child Care Aware hosted an information session recently, and we have developed this fact sheet that lays out everything to think about when considering caring for other people’s children.
  • Expand internet connectivity. We are working with existing community groups (STN, Libraries) addressing the digital divide with the goal of helping to quickly get virtual learning sites, neighborhoods and homes connected to adequate internet to support virtual learning.
  • Provide material support for virtual learning. Students are going to need certain things to be able to learn effectively in the hybrid model being used in many districts. The list includes: masks and pouches or bags for storing used and fresh masks, ear buds, water bottles, insulated lunch bags, and binders.

WE NEED EVERYONE’S HELP!

  • We are ACTIVELY recruiting organizations to donate the use of their space. Act Fast! Time is not on our side. Interested organizations can fill out this Site Host Interest Form, or contact kellyb@proactioninc.org. (Hint, the form will answer some of your questions.)
  • We are actively recruiting youth mentors and staff to supervise learning at these sites. Child Care and Youth program partners will recruit minimum necessary staff. Interested volunteers can fill out this Volunteer Interest Form, or contact lawlorm@proactioninc.org. (Hint, the form will answer some of your questions.) Hurry! There’s not a lot of time.
  • We need organizations or groups to plan collection drives and create kits that include: masks and pouches or bags for storing used and fresh masks, ear buds, water bottles, insulated lunch bags, and binders. We will get these kits to children using community based virtual learning sites. We presently have at least 200 children ready to enroll in these sites. Contact lawlorm@proactioninc.org

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS URGENT NEED!

There was already a shortage of child care in our communities before the pandemic. The closing and partial closing of schools for this length of time is something nobody could have predicted. We do need our whole community to pull together to support children and families during this highly unusual time. THANK YOU FOR STEPPING UP! 

View the summary of our survey results HERE.

 

Questions can be directed to:

Margie Lawlor, Pro Action
lawlorm@proactioninc.org
607-776-2125 x312

Community Action Angels (formerly CHAMP)
Contact: Joe Golden (goldenj@proactioninc.org)

Community Action Angels Request Form (formerly CHAMP)

School Districts
Head Start and Universal PreK

Steuben County

Child Care Subsidy, HEAP, Home Delivered Meals, T.A.S.A.

Workforce NY

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