Family Toolkit: Family Support and Well-Being
Family well-being occurs when all family members are safe, healthy, and have chances for educational advancement and economic mobility. Support services such as early care and education, housing and food assistance, and physical and mental health care positively contribute to the well-being of families and their children. When families face challenges that cause stress, including poverty and homelessness, their health and wellness can be negatively impacted. Engaging families as active participants in problem-solving and goal-setting can help them identify and use their own strengths to address the challenges they face. When families are healthy, safe, and economically stable, their children's health and well-being can thrive.
Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness
More than 1 million children ages birth to 6 experience homelessness in the U.S. These children are automatically eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Homelessness is a circumstance families may experience when they are faced with such challenges as extreme poverty and lack of affordable housing. It can also occur when a family's current living situation becomes unsafe or unstable.
Homelessness is a state of vulnerability for children and families. It can expose families to physical, mental, and developmental risks. Head Start can provide needed support to children and families. Contact your Family Service Worker for more information.
These are challenging times, and your friends at Sesame Street are here to help. Their hub is filled with videos, playful learning activities, and ways to help families stay physically and mentally healthy. The Sesame Street Muppets are staying home, too, but still connecting with friends online—and they'll continue to post videos, like Singalong with Elmo or Snack Time with Cookie Monster.
Raising children can be hard for parents. It may be even harder when a family has experienced domestic violence. Domestic violence impacts all of our communities. It can have long-term negative effects on the well-being and safety of children and families. This resource can help parents build a connection with their child and help them to feel loved.
Your family's financial, education, and employment needs and goals may change during emergencies and natural disasters. Explore these tip sheets to learn how Head Start and Early Head Start program staff can work with you to access important information, benefits, and tools that can strengthen your family's economic security during crises. Learn about federal assistance programs that can help your family during emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic. Access websites and online tools to help you open a bank account, apply for unemployment insurance benefits, find job training opportunities, and more.
Alcohol and substance use disorders can take a toll on families with young children. They can make daily activities more challenging and impair parents' decision-making and bonding with their children. Head Start programs can help prevent or intervene early when a family has a substance use disorder. They can support families to make positive choices and create safe and supportive relationships that prevent and reduce violence. Head Start can also connect families to resources that promote healthy behaviors.
If you need assistance or if you are experiencing an emergency or crisis, please contact your Family Service Worker.
The Governor's office and GDOE are launching the PATH Project, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) Voucher Program that will provide no-cost home internet services to students and families. Students are eligible to participate in the PATH Project based on income eligibility. Students who are eligible for Head Start will automatically qualify to participate. Qualified households of families in need will be prioritized and fully covered by GDOE. Interested families should complete the application and contact their Family Service Worker for additional information.