This grant will support the needs of 60-70 families of at-risk preschool children by funding the salary of an on-site family advocate, plus costs for office space, professional development, and operating a parent support group.
Storyteller Children’s Center provides high-quality early childhood education that helps homeless and at-risk children achieve kindergarten readiness. The children come from families with challenges related to trauma, housing insecurity, hunger, mental health, and substance abuse. Storyteller differs from other early childhood programs by being year-round, morning through evening. The Center also takes a comprehensive trauma-informed therapeutic approach to the entire family. In addition to meeting the social, emotional, and academic needs of the children, staff members attempt to address family challenges by providing referrals to appropriate support services.
In 2021, Storyteller initiated a pilot program to provide an on-site family advocate. Its success stimulated the need for a more permanent part-time family advocate to help with issues ranging from employment and education to custody and other legal matters. The advocate will also create a parent group to empower and encourage parents to respond constructively to the challenges of childrearing.
By providing early intervention and connecting families with appropriate services, the on-site advocate can help families address challenges before they become too complex or debilitating to overcome.