Final Report: Rhode Island Early Childhood Child Welfare-Head Start Partnership.
Children's Friends and Service, Providence, RI.
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This final report discusses the activities and accomplishments of a federal funded initiative designed to reduce the barriers to permanency through ensuring that young children in foster care have access to high quality early learning environments that promote children's health, social, and emotional well-being, and educational success. The Rhode Island Early Childhood Child Welfare Project Management Team (RI-ECCW) met with key stakeholder groups to disseminate information, identified barriers to Early Head Start/Head Start (EHS/HS) enrollment among foster children, completed a workforce competency survey, held open houses to promote EHS/HS enrollment among foster children, created and disseminated brochures about EHS/HS, developed MOUs between key organizations, and collaborated on a successful dissemination event. The project also disseminated the findings and lessons learned on the infrastructure changes that needed to occur to increase the number of children in foster care who are participating in EHS/HS programs. Findings from the evaluation indicate the project accomplished all activities outlined in the grant proposal and logic model and that of the many overarching objectives of the project, it was most successful increasing visibility regarding the special needs of the youngest foster children, reinforcing awareness about the benefits of EHS/HS, and disseminating practical information about EHS/HS to stakeholders. The report concludes, however, that the project has had limited success producing outcomes consistent with the overall spirit of the grant: to engage a broad base of stakeholders in collaborative planning and to make system changes that will benefit the youngest foster children. Next steps for achieving RI-ECCW objects are discussed.
Rhode Island; interagency collaboration; early childhood education; foster children; Head Start; Early intervention programs; Service integration; Systems of care