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Family Support Specialist, Human Development & Family Science

Apply now Job no: 494637
Work type: Staff
Location: Newark
Categories: Academic Administration, Administrative Support, Health Services, Full Time


This is a grant funded position.


New Directions Early Head Start is a federally funded program which provides pregnant women, infants and toddlers and their families with quality care and family services that support families in providing the best for themselves and their very young children in order to promote children's success and families' self-sufficiency, through community collaboration and partnerships.

The Family Support Specialist will work with families providing weekly home visits, assisting them in understanding their child's development and being their child’s first teacher. In addition, the Family Support Specialist will assist in identifying family resources and needs and providing case management.

Under limited supervision of the Program Coordinator or Family Support Supervisor, the Family Support Specialist will act as itinerate teacher and case manager for families, providing supports, ensuring the connection to health services, other services and referrals as needed. Provide families with a connection to community resources and assist with parent engagement activities.


  • Work to ensure that the program meets or exceeds the Head Start Program Performance Standards. Support parents in developing and fostering a healthy self-concept in themselves and their children. Promote the philosophy of empowering parents.
  • Coordinate, facilitate and plan parent meetings, socializations and parent workshops in conjunction with parents and Family Support Supervisor and Program Coordinators.
  • Participate in the process to recruit and enroll program eligible pregnant women and families with young children to maintain maximum enrollment
  • Visit Family Child Care Partners as assigned. Act as a liaison and advocate between Early Head Start families and community resources, and providers as necessary and appropriate. Assist parent in being involved in their child’s early care and education.
  • Schedule and conduct required weekly 1.5 hour home visits with families and pregnant women to include activity plans and development of Family Partnership Agreements based on each family’s strengths and each child’s needs and record progress.
  • Encourage parents to attend parent meetings, workshops, etc.
  • Maintain confidential records on child and family progress, using computer software.
  • Prepare reports and maintain accurate and timely records as necessary to meet all requirements of funding source.
  • Assist in developing a Family Partnership Agreement (FPA) or an IFSP for children with disabilities. Assist families in assessing their ongoing progress as it relates to the FPA or IFSP
  • Participate and support families with accessing needed community services and resources.
  • Assist families in developing activities and fostering behaviors that will enhance their children’s development. Ensure that the necessary developmental, social emotional and health screenings are completed within the 45 and 90 day deadlines. Maintain follow-up screenings as required
  • Make referrals as necessary to community service offices.
  • Help parents use activities and materials which naturally occur in the home as learning opportunities. Foster the view and practice that parents are their child’s first teacher and reinforce with practical suggestions for development. Model developmentally appropriate practice.
  • Plan and support a smooth transition for the children and families into and out of Early Head Start.
  • Support families in arranging and keeping medical and dental appointments as required by Early Head Start and submitting all necessary documentation.
  • Work to ensure consistent quality prenatal care and to support the mother in meeting all of the recommendations for a healthy pregnancy. Ensure program screenings and/or assessments for pregnant women are completed, with the appropriate follow up and/or referral takes place. Help expectant families prepare a welcoming and safe home for the baby. Coordinate and schedule appointments for health staff to visit the newborn within two weeks of the birth, ensuring the wellbeing of the mother and child as is required by the Program Performance Standards.
  • Maintain supplies and materials for home visiting, socialization etc. Make suggestions for new materials and submit order requests for supplies that need replacing.
  • Assist with long range program planning and development of NDEHS program.
  • Attend training, staff development workshops and meetings as appropriate or requested by the Program Coordinator.
  • Positively represent NDEHS, the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, CEHD and University in the community at large.
  • Provide parent transportation as necessary using NDEHS vehicle.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or other related discipline, and one-year job-related experience with young children, families or community programs or equivalent combination of education and experience (i.e. CDA, AA and additional experience)
  • Progressively responsible job-related experience beyond an Associate’s degree in early childhood education may be substituted for required education.
  • Position requires knowledge of early childhood development, adult learning styles and community resources, strong written and verbal communication skills and the ability to interact with a diverse population.
  • Must have the ability to work as part of a program team and utilize word processing, assessment software and data systems.
  • Bilingual in Spanish preferred.


  • Requires successful completion of state and federal criminal background check, child protection, adult abuse, and sex offender registry checks, health examination and TB test.
  • Must maintain Parents as Teachers Certification and Promoting First Relations Certification once employed.
  • Position requires travel within New Castle County and some evening and weekend hours.
  • Must have accessible, reliable transportation for travel.
  • Must maintain current First Aid and CPR certification as well as updated Health Appraisal and PPD.

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