Child Welfare – Early Education Partnership Family Support Services of North Florida: Final Report – Oct. 1, 2011 – May 31, 2013 / Family Support Services of North Florida, Inc.
Child Welfare Early Education Partnership (CWEEP) Family Support Services of North Florida, Inc.
This final report discusses the activities and accomplishments of a federally funded project designed to create an interagency infrastructure in North Florida, to develop policies and processes to enable child serving organizations to provide child care, education, and support services to increase the likelihood that children under five years old in the child welfare system of care are participating in high-quality early education programs that will improve school performance and lifelong outcomes. Prior to this project’s implementation, baseline statistics showed that although there was a quality rating and improvement system available for child care providers, only 36% of children in the child welfare system of care were attending centers that participated. None of the children attended a Head Start or Early Head Start program. The project include the creation of a Child Welfare – Early Education Partnership (CW-EEP) Oversight Committee and subcommittees that developed new ideas for improvement. Key new strategies that were implemented included: implementing annual training about the importance of early education and local resources available; infusing trauma informed care and classroom management training in the local child care centers; standardizing developmental and mental health screening for all children who come into the child welfare system of care; implementing policies that require caregivers and caseworkers to develop a working relationship with quality early learning providers; creating a GIS mapping system to track child care providers; and creating an early learning brochure and video for use in training caregivers and caseworkers about the importance of early learning, key indicators of quality child care, and available information resources. After implementing the new strategies, an increase of 52% in children attending quality-rated centers was seen in 15 months. The report includes a quality checklist and informational brochure. 3 figures and 5 tables.
Florida; child welfare services; interagency collaboration; child care; service integration; children at risk; foster children; family support systems; head start; early intervention programs