The Child Connection Center provides the following services to families in our participating school districts:
INTERACTIVE FAMILY PLANS
The first step in our process is meeting with the family to discuss their unique needs and to formulate goals. Working together with the family, school and community, we create a plan to help the family succeed. Family plans always include open lines of communication between CCC caseworkers, parents/caregivers, teachers and children. The following are some tools we use within our family plans to help children and families to succeed:
Family workshops are offered based upon common goals. Workshops have included topics such as Improving Organizational Skills and Family Craft Night. These workshops serve to support family cohesiveness, communication, relationship strengthening, organization skills and involvement in positive extra-curricular activities.
Another benefit the CCC provides to the school community is classroom workshops. Professional CCC staff go into the classrooms to lead various workshops throughout the school year. One of our most popular topics is Mindfulness Meditation, where children practice and learn mindfulness meditation techniques to aid in coping with everyday stress. These workshops enable the CCC to reach large groups of students, in turn providing us with indirect access to families through take-home materials that the students share at home after the school day has ended.
The CCC offers small group counseling. Each group consists of several students who are working towards common goals. Topics are in alignment with goals outlined in family plans (family changes, social skills, coping skills, mindfulness meditation). Student participants receive take-home activities to continue discussions at home with family.
BEHAVIOR PLANS/CLASSROOM SUPPORT
CCC educational consultants work with students, teachers and families to create and implement positive reinforcement behavior systems for home and in school. Positive reinforcements often involve “earning” time to play in the CCC. Our staff members observe children in the classroom and assist teachers with classroom management, goal setting, and methods for engaging families in their children’s academic success.
The CCC provides individual counseling for students based on requests/inquiries from families. Staff communicate with teachers and families as needed to support children’s needs. We also refer and help connect families to local professionals in cases where more intensive counseling is needed.
CONNECTION TO COMMUNITY RESOURCES
When CCC interventions alone are not enough, the CCC will connect families to community resources available to them including referrals to the Child Study Team when appropriate. We provide them with referrals to therapists, physicians and partial care facilities and assist them with applications, etc. We also connect them with local churches and organizations they can utilize to help them reach their family goals.
Each year we connect families to our local food bank and assist them in applying to the Salvation Army for the annual holiday food/gift drive. We assist families who request help with employment, housing, transportation and utility assistance by referring them to the Heart of Gloucester County and other community resources.
ANNUAL BACKPACK DRIVE
Each summer, the CCC facilitates a Backpack Drive. We ask our families and teachers for referrals and solicit donations from area churches, banks and stores to fill our backpacks. Our donors have historically been very generous, allowing us to meet the needs of our families. This initiative has proven to be vital to our families in need and is always a big success.