POSITION TITLE: Center-Based Family Advocate (FA)

DEPARTMENT: PFCE

REPORTS TO: PFCE Manager

SUPERVISES: NA

FLSA: Nonexempt

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JOB SUMMARY / ACCOUNTABILITY

Utilizing the PFCE Framework, the Family Advocate (FA) work directly with parents on the family partnership process, to identify goals and to provide available resources that benefit families and support each child’s growth and school readiness. Using a strengths-based approach, Family Advocates collaborate with early childhood professionals and community resources to promote parent and family engagement outcomes.

POSITION QUALIFICATIONS

  • An Associate’s Degree in Social Work or related field or a degree in human services. May consider a home-based CDA credential or comparable credential based on prior related experience, or equivalent coursework as part of an associate’s degree; and demonstrate competency to plan and implement home-based learning experiences
  • Two years of employment or volunteer experience working with children and/or families highly preferred.
  • Bilingual preferred.
  • Within eighteen months of hire, a credential or certification in social work, human services, family services, counseling or a related field. PS 1302.91 (7)
  • Able to work independently, show initiative, resourcefulness, and creativity.
  • Excellent customer service skills are required.
  • Strong working knowledge of Head Start Program Performance Standards and Michigan Childcare Licensing Regulations
  • Effective in an environment of cultural diversity; comfortable in a collaborative, team-based work setting
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office
  • Reliable transportation is required

 

GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Family Advocates recognize parents as their children’s primary teachers and nurturers and implement intentional strategies to engage parents in their children’s learning and development, and support parent-child relationships.
  • FAs collaborate with families in a family partnership process that identifies needs, interests, strengths, goals, and services and resources that support family well-being, including family safety, health, and economic stability.
  • FAs conduct services in the family’s preferred language, or through an interpreter, to the extent possible, ensuring families have the opportunity to share personal information in an environment in which they feel safe.
  • All program staff promote shared responsibility with parents for children’s early learning and development, and implement family engagement strategies that are designed to foster parental confidence and skills in promoting children’s learning and development, supporting literacy, dual language learning, and the importance of regular attendance.
  • Family Advocates partner with parents/guardians to create a family partnership agreement to support family well-being, including family safety, health, and economic stability, supporting child learning and development, providing, if applicable, services and supports for children with disabilities, fostering parental confidence and skills that promote the early learning and development of their children.
  • FAs and parents/guardians must complete an assessment to identify individualized family strengths and needs related to the family engagement outcomes as described in the Head Start Parent Family and Community Engagement Framework.
  • FAs, in collaboration with parents/guardians, review individual progress, revise goals, evaluate and track whether identified needs and goals are met, and adjust strategies on an ongoing basis.
  • FAs serve as a facilitator in a research-based parenting curriculum that builds on parent’s knowledge and offers an opportunity to build on parenting skills, promoting children’s learning and development.
  • FAs must have reliable transportation available daily, as well as insurance and a valid driver’s license, in order to attend meetings, training, and to obtain resources.
  • Maintain adequate safeguards for the privacy and confidentiality of information.
  • Complete required documentation of relevant activities and submit records and reports in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Stay abreast of current issues and trends by participation in grantee-sponsored training, center pre-service and in-service trainings, and other continuing education, career and professional development opportunities; read and review regulations and other resources.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

 

WORKING AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:

Works in a normal office environment with usual pressures of managing personnel and dealing with time constraints. Because of multiple sites within the department and the need to meet with others within the community, it is common to drive to several locations, sometimes in inclement weather.

CONTINUOUS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT AND ETHICAL CONDUCT:

  • All staff will use data to help achieve program goals; apply techniques and strategies that promote a culture of learning; identify and address gaps that continuously improve our programs.
  • All personnel of Matrix must adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics and incorporate Continuous Quality Improvement efforts into their everyday performance.
  • All Head Start employees must adhere to the federal regulations and requirements for Head Start operations including the Program Performance Standards, licensing regulations, and the NAEYC Code of Conduct
  • Demonstrate and actively promote an understanding and commitment to the mission and values of Matrix Human Services.

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