"It is well known that it takes a developing parent to produce a developing child. We won't get family self-sufficiency unless the parents develop themselves and get jobs they want to keep."
- Head Start Executive Director
Head Start Agencies are Centers of Learning
Head Start Centers are wonderfully nurturing and enriching places for children. They also help parents learn to be more effective in caring for their children. But many Head Start parents need help themselves to set goals, make career plans, and get jobs they want to keep. Head Start agencies can further promote family self-sufficiency by becoming a center of learning for the entire family, and helping parents with these needs.
The Adkins Program has been used effectively in a number of Head Start agencies to help parents make educational and career decisions. The results are striking. Parents discover that whole new paths are possible for their lives. Parents who had no previous knowledge about education/career options and no hope of attaining educational or career goals, come alive. Motivation and morale go way up, and these parents have more to give to their children. They begin to think more specifically about how they will help their children aspire, get educated, and have careers.
The Adkins Program Supports Other Offerings at Head Start Centers
Whenever the Adkins Program has been used with parents in a Head Start setting, it has had an impact on other offerings in the Center. One Head Start director puts it this way: "The Adkins Program greatly helped to create and strengthen a community of learning for the parents, for the staff and the students."
The 10 units, the group setting, the focus on the psychological aspects of career development, the creation of a place where feelings can be explored, concepts and knowledge learned, and behavior tried out, works extremely well in a Head Start setting. The program can greatly improve the lives of Head Start parents, staff, and children.
In a pilot study conducted at one Head Start Center, 18 parents primarily from the Dominican Republic completed an Adkins Life Skills Program. Upon completing the program:
- Participants Career Efficacy greatly increased, 80% reported being
very certain of their ability to obtain a job as compared to only 40%
on the pretest
- All parents said they were very interested in pursuing future education
and training and 73% made specific plans to do so
Burton Study: Career Development Series at the Ft. George Head Start Center
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Request a copy of our 8-minute documentary which tells the story of how five Head Start parents became employable and employed.