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 Comprehensive Services Resources

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Support Services

  • All Our Kids (AOK) - Early Childhood Networks
    The primary focus of the AOK Networks is to promote the positive growth and development of all children birth to five and their parents/caregivers. AOK Network partners engage in cross-sector, strategic initiatives so that more babies are born healthy, more children remain healthy, more children enter school ready to learn, and more parents/caregivers are leaders in their families and the community. AOK Networks improve outcomes like these by creating a more connected and coordinated system of services and supports as they address local child and family priority issues.
  • Illinois Housing Assistance Support
    The Office of Community Development administers several programs that offer housing support including rental assistance, housing rehabilitation, housing rehabilitation assistance for occupancy by persons with disabilities, and Section 8 housing choice vouchers. Assistance is offered through a variety of programs which are listed below and must be accessed either through a participating community action agency, other not-for-profit organizations, or a unit of local government.
  • Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
    DHS' Child Care Assistance Program provides low-income, working families with access to quality, affordable child care that allows them to continue working and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child. Families are required to cost-share on a sliding scale based on family size, income and number of children in care.
  • Food Support
    Links to Illinois sites for Emergency Food, SNAP, WIC, WIC Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program, Homeless Youth Services, and Illinois Welcoming Center; includes steps for application, tools and calculators.
  • Mental Health Support
    Every individual who suffers from a mental condition has different circumstances that will require a unique set of services/level of care to address their specific needs. The Illinois Division of Mental Health (DMH) provides a wide variety of services at all levels for adults and children throughout the state. These services are offered through hundreds of DMH partners called "Providers" (i.e. mental health clinics, agencies and hospitals). Providers serve as 'front doors' to enter the publicly funded system of mental health care. These links provide resources for individuals in crisis and those working with individuals (children through adults).
  • Employment
    State of Illinois links for career planning and job search including education and training opportunities.
  • Domestic Violence
    Domestic violence programs are located throughout Illinois and provide safety assistance to victims of domestic violence. Services are free and private. They are available regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, income, disability, or sexual orientation. You do not have to leave the abuser or your home to get help. The Helpline Operator or the Local Agency will decide what services will assist you from the program at either the first meeting or via the telephone call. To locate a Domestic Violence Center, visit: Domestic Violence Agency Listing. The list identifies a center or agency in a near by city or surrounding area as well as the local hotline number(s).
  • Substance Abuse Services and Assistance
    The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DHS/DASA) provides funding for alcohol and other drug abuse treatment services for pregnant women and women with children, youth, those receiving TANF funds and those at risk of or infected with HIV; as well as counseling and early intervention services to individuals with gambling disorders. DHS/DASA also provides services to individuals with active DCFS cases. Individuals are screened and referred by DCFS offices and local service providers. Treatment providers work with DCFS staff to bring patients into the treatment process, and when needed, provide transportation for patients and/or their children to child care so they may attend treatment.

Family Assessments

The following are assessment instruments for parenting, family relationships and support systems, education and vocation, adequacy and stability of income for food, clothing, housing and health insurance.

The following are also appropriate Family Assessment Resources but do not include specific questions about access to medical care including health insurance.

  • National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention - Protective Factors Survey
    The Protective Factors Survey (PFS) is a pre-post evaluation tool for use with caregivers receiving child maltreatment prevention services. It is a self-administered survey that measures protective factors in five areas: family functioning/resiliency, social support, concrete support, nurturing and attachment, and knowledge of parenting/child development.

Tools for Families

 Parent/Family Engagement Resources

Frameworks and Strategies

  • ISBE Family Engagement Framework Guide
    The Illinois State Board of Education Family Engagement Guide brings together research, best practices, and legislative requirements and provides resources that integrate family engagement into the school improvement process. This tool is for school districts and schools to use in developing and expanding school-family partnerships to support student learning and healthy development.
  • Be Strong Families - Early Childhood Programs
    Be Strong Families / Strengthening Families Illinois can assist early childhood programs with increasing the quality and quantity of parent engagement, building better relationships between staff and families, and through a menu of professional development offerings developed to support the ability of staff to implement the Strengthening Families approach.
  • Best Practices in Family Engagement Video Series
    Real world examples of strategies and approaches that parent educators can use to engage and partner with families in their programs.
  • NAEYC - Engaging Diverse Families
    The NAEYC Engaging Diverse Families project identified policies and practices exemplary programs use to engage diverse families successfully.
  • NAEYC - Research News on Family Engagement
    NAEYC provides recent news and research on the importance of family engagement.
  • NAEYC - Conducting A Family Survey
    NAEYC provides information on how to create and conduct a family survey.
  • The Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement FrameworkPDF Document
    The PFCE Framework was developed in partnership with programs, families, experts, and the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement. It is a research-based approach to program change that shows how an agency can work together as a whole—across systems and service areas— to promote parent and family engagement and children’s learning and development.
  • Head Start Parent and Family Engagement Outcomes - Research to Practice
    The Research to Practice Series addresses each of the Family Engagement Outcomes. Each resource presents a summary of selected research, proven interventions and promising practices, and program strategies.
  • Head Start Parent and Family Engagement Outcomes - Resources
    Resources in this summary highlight key research findings and information to support successful engagement strategies
  • Families as Advocates and LeadersPDF Document
    This article describes how programs can provide opportunities to families that help develop advocacy and leadership skills.
  • Using Data for Family and Program Progress
    Head Start – Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) provides resources on using data more effectively to strengthen work with children and families and support family and program progress.

Resources for Professional Learning on Family Engagement

Transitioning to Kindergarten

Additional Resources

 Parent Education Resources

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Social-Emotional Development

Health

Transitioning to Kindergarten

 Program Design Resources

Community Partnerships

Full Day Preschool

Nutrition

Continuous Quality Improvement

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