The Ohio Department of Education has announced funding for educational service centers (ESC) to staff Family and Community Partnership Liaisons for the 2020-2021 school year. Three million dollars of federal CARES Act funding has been made available to fund Family and Community Partnership Liaisons in each of the 51 ESCs. Mid-Ohio ESC has contracted with Goal Digital Academy to hire Jessica Caughlan for the liaison position in response to the increased needs of school districts and families due to COVID-19. The grant and the position runs from December 2020 to November 2021.
Caughlan, who is the Director of Partnerships and Family Engagement for Goal Digital Academy, said there are seven vulnerable population groups that the grant specifically wants the liaison to focus on: students with disabilities, English learners, migrant families, justice involved students, military families, students experiencing homelessness and students in foster care. “I will send out surveys to staff in each school district to decide which of the population groups is the greatest need. Once the greatest need is determined then the focus will start shifting to that vulnerable group.”
Families needing help can be referred by school staff, community partners or by a self-referral. However, she notes her position is to help the school district’s staff to have better engagement with their families, not to work with families themselves. Her work is to help facilitate resource and information sharing between local school district personnel and local community partners to build their capacity to provide services for vulnerable youth. “When families are supported by a well-structured family engagement program,” said Caughlan, “the partnership between home, school and their communities has the potential to help every student succeed!”
Source, Photo: MOESC