The programs that are funded by First 5 Kern have a lasting impact on the lives of children, families, and entire communities.
Funded agencies provide a support network when families have few places to turn. Sometimes stories are tragic. Poverty is rampant, stress and family crisis are common. Programs create opportunities for success through their services and the community partners they refer to. The staff of programs funded by First 5 Kern experience first hand the positive impact that Proposition 10 tobacco tax dollars have on the lives of children and families in Kern County.
Below are just a few stories that show the positive impact that comes from empowering children, parents, and families – helping them become resilient, self-sufficient, and successful participants in their communities. Participants in First 5 Kern’s funded programs remain confidential and any listed names are aliases.
Black Infant Health Program
A participant came into the BIH Program because she was a first time mother looking for support and guidance. At the time of enrollment, she was unemployed, living in a small home with her parents and a number of other family members, and she was morbidly obese and suffering from Type 1 Diabetes. Her blood sugar levels were uncontrolled, she was not taking her shots of insulin regularly, and she had little to no knowledge of healthy cooking habits or the effect certain types of food and beverages have on a person’s blood sugar levels.
Her BIH Coordinator immediately scheduled her for nutritional information sessions with the Kern County Public Health’s Certified Nutritionist. Her program incentives were also tailored for her needs, and with the help of the program’s goal setting model, she was empowered to make better nutritional choices, drink more water, get more exercise and work out a system for taking her insulin medication on time each day. She eagerly implemented several new changes into her lifestyle, and she eventually gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Additionally, through encouragement and linkages to community resources, she also got a job and her own apartment and she is thriving both as a mother and as an individual.
Black Infant Health Program is a program of the County of Kern, Public Health Services Department.
Make A Splash
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 5 in California, and is a persistent concern in Kern County with our lakes of course the often-deadly Kern River. This program provides not just education, but an opportunity to expose children to water safety and swimming basics at a young age. Every year, this program receives notes of thanks and recognition of its
importance for the community.
“We are income household eligible. These programs ensure my child to participate in the life saving skills. These programs allow my child to be part of programs and not be left out. Water can be dangerous and I learned very important information to help my child.”
“I am grateful for these programs; we are a low-income family and these programs help my children participate and enjoy themselves in life-saving skills.”
“Thank you for this free CPR class. We need it so bad for all people involved. This CPR has helped me in many ways.”
“I’m thankful that the class is free. I hope you can keep providing this class for other people in the future. Thank you.”
The program also provides training in pediatric CPR/AED and first aid, and its staff works with local Head Start and State Preschool sites to provide Parent Water Safety Workshops during the summer months.
Make A Splash is a program of the City of Bakersfield, Department of Recreation and Parks.
Special Start for Exceptional Children
One three and a half-year old female is currently enrolled in the program. She was born premature and suffers from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Failure to Thrive (FTT), and a Metabolic Disorder causing her to be intolerant of protein. She has been hospitalized several times for complications of FTT and GERD since birth. While at Special Start, she is monitored closely for aspiration. She is dependent for ADL’s (diaper, feeding, clothing). Her weight is monitored on a weekly basis due to FTT. She began attending center-based activities during non-traditional hours at Special Start when she was only 4 Months old. She graduated from both the infant and toddler programs. Since then, she has been involved in group time and other activities centered around her age and abilities. She has access to adaptive equipment and seating to maintain health and safety while participating in activities, therapy, and treatments administered by nursing staff.
Special Start for Exceptional Children is a program of Caring Corner, a special education preschool for medically fragile children.
Domestic Violence Reduction Project
One recent client is a 29 year old mother of four children. Susie* and her boyfriend had been in a dating relationship for about two years and have a one-year old child together. Susie also has three children from a prior relationship, all under the age of 12. She came in as a walk-in at the Family Justice Center seeking assistance with a restraining order and child custody orders after a serious violent incident, which included being whipped with an extension cord and beat with a broomstick on her head and back. Her boyfriend also threatened to kill her while holding two large kitchen knives against her chest – all in front of the children. Her boyfriend was charged three felonies for assault, domestic violence and criminal threats. Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance filed a temporary restraining order for Susie, which also gave her sole custody of the child they share and no visitation in the meantime. GBLA assisted her through hearing postponments and eventually bring the case before the court. The court granted Susie a 3-year restraining order against her boyfriend and sole custody of their minor children to Susie. Her boyfriend was ordered to have professionally supervised visitation. In addition to protecting Susie and her 1 year old child they share, her 3 other children are indirectly protected from witnessing further abuse by having him no longer be in their home due to the restraining order. *Name has been changed to protect our client’s identity
The Domestic Violence Reduction Project is a program of Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance.
Discovery Depot Child Care
Discovery Depot is noted for being the first licensed child care center based at a homeless shelter in the entire state of California. The following two success stories demonstrate the opportunities and empowerment for families when they have daily access to quality childcare for their little ones.
Recently, one of the parents in the Preschool room was able to move out of the homeless shelter dorms and into a new home. She also found a job that provides for her and her family. Having her children in quality child care during the day helped her take the steps she needed to seek housing and work.
Also, one of the parents in the infant toddler room is striving for new and better opportunities for her future and her daughters’ best interest. She has been at the shelter for about 5 months and is currently working on paying her debts to be able to get housing and her license. She is also seeking help to go back to school and obtain her G.E.D diploma. This parent is constantly asking questions and advice from the childcare staff to help her daughters grow and reach their fullest potential.
We are proud to be a part of her accomplishments and help her with any support she may need.
Discovery Depot Child Care is a program of Bethany Services, Inc., located at the Bakersfield Homeless Center
Kern County Children’s Dental Health Network
At one of our recent Fluoride Varnish clinics a child (who was enrolled in special education) was identified with cavities. The parent scheduled an appointment with one of our contracted pediatric dentist’s for an exam and x-rays. During the exam appointment the pediatric dentist requested clearance from the child’s medical doctor, who also identified a tonsil issue. The doctor would provide a clearance only after the child had their tonsils removed. Surgery was performed and the child was able to continue services approximately a year later. The parent wanted to continue dental treatment through KCCDHN, received a new exam and x-rays, and a referral from the school nurse to begin dental treatment.
Kern County Children’s Dental Health Network is a program of West Kern Community College District and works through Kern County Superintendent of Schools.
2-1-1 Kern County
2-1-1 Kern County received a phone call from a mother in desperate need of assistance for her child that has been constantly bullied at school. The caller stated that she felt helpless, and went into detail of her son’s horrific circumstances. She stated that no one seems to assist her with her son’s bullying and was seeking any other resources that may perhaps prioritize her son’s case. Call Specialist attentively listened to her needs and began to assure her that she would locate resources that would be able to help and guide her to the proper services. Call Specialist referred the caller to KCSD Bully Prevention Program. Call Specialist was able to follow up with caller regarding the bully prevention, and the caller was pleased to notify Call Specialist that she received help from the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office. The caller was beyond grateful with the resource provided. She thanked Call Specialist and guaranteed she’d call 211 again when in need of information. Call Specialist expressed fulfillment in knowing 211 and the school district were able to assist the mother concerning such a difficult situation that occurs daily in our children’s society.
2-1-1 Kern County is a program operated by Community Action Partnership of Kern, and is also supported by the Kern County Public Health Services Department and the United Way of Kern County.
Health Literacy Program
Parents were very intrigued about the “vegetarian patty” we introduced, which featured six grains we had as samples and reviewed the health benefits of grains with the kids. Families were able to take some grains, herbs, onions, mushrooms and the recipe home. The families were appreciative, indicating their eagerness to incorporate more vegetables and grains in their diet.
Another parent commented that her daughter is picking out different foods at the store after tasting something different at a previous workshop. “My daughter wanted to buy the same apples we ate here last time at the store, she would only eat grapes before.” The healthy choices and ideas presented at these workshops are giving parents and children new ideas about foods to try and buy that they might not have if they had not been exposed to them at the parent workshop.
The Health Literacy Program holds Parent & Child Workshops, which discuss making better food choices for their families and initiating family exercises together throughout the week. The stories that come directly from the parents are very powerful, while the program encourages parents and their children to make healthier meal choices and many parents observe how surprised they were at how receptive their children were to trying new options, as well as just how much their own food choices impact those of their children.
The Health Literacy Program is a program of the Bakersfield Adult School/Kern Union High School District
Blanton Child Development Center
Blanton Child Development Center has an enterprising person as a teen parent this year. She is a mother of a 10-month-old daughter and immersed herself in the Community School supportive offerings of Jobs Plus, Child Development Academy and the Medical Assistant Program. She will make part-time money in the Jobs-Plus program run through Community Schools. She will probably work 6-10 hours a week for extra spending money though this jobs skills program. Her busy schedule shows us that she is a parent that organizes her time, her studies, and genuinely shows interests in her future goals. She is a senior and hopes to graduate in the spring. Her two after-school courses matriculate into college units. Her goal is to work in the medical field. She is rarely absent and volunteers her time as one of our Parent Board members. We are very proud of the initiative and interest she has in being a good mother, an excellent student and conscientious employee.
The Blanton Child Development Center is a program of Kern County Superintendent of Schools
Community Health Initiative of Kern County
Victoria is a mother of two girls, ages fifteen and seventeen, who mean the world to her. She felt devastated that she could not afford to take them to the doctor when they needed medical attention. She resorted to buying over the counter medicine and treating the issue at home. Paying out of pocket for a doctor visit was the last option due to the cost. She sought the help of the Community Health Initiative (CHI) Program to see if they could help her obtain affordable health coverage. A Certified Enrollment Counselor helped her complete an application, and Victoria and her two daughters were eligible for the Medi-Cal Program. When she was notified, she was ecstatic. As soon as her application for health coverage was approved, she scheduled a medical, vision and dental check-up for both her daughters. She is grateful the CHI helped her obtain peace of mind now that both her daughters and she have health insurance.
The Community Health Initiative of Kern County is a program of the Mercy Foundation-Bakersfield
Delano School Readiness
One of the new children who recently started in the School Readiness classroom came in not speaking. The preschool teacher stated the child would point to indicate his needs and wants. The mother of the children requested a speech referral, and the child now uses short words and sounds to respond. The children in the class watch out for their fellow student, and really enjoy being with the child in the classroom, and his speech continues to improve.
Delano School Readiness is a program of the Delano Union School District
Differential Response Services
A family of six consisting of a father, mother and four children all under eight years old were recently referred to Differential Response services with allegations of neglect. The allegations stated that the children were dirty, had lice and had medical issues. The mother often changed stories about why or how children were ill and/or injured. The home was reported filled with mold, causing illness among the children. During the initial home visit, the case manager noted that the home was overwhelmingly cluttered and disorganized. The CM worked with the family to develop goals to improve their living conditions, including researching new housing options and for the parents to de-clutter and maintain house cleanliness.
The family extended services with case management with new and similar goals due to extra needed support as they began seeing progress. The parents were receptive to learning more about positive discipline, natural and logical consequences and other positive behavior strategies – an area they had struggled with through the years. The mother was also referred for and completed nutrition education classes at the Indian Wells Valley Family Resource Center during case management as many members of the family experienced excess weight concerns. Another victory for the family thanks to advocacy from the DR case manager was accessing necessary mental health care for the mother and two of her daughters. The mother also worked with the case manager to research Kern Regional Center services for two of the four children.
At the start of services, the mother was difficult to re-direct from blaming home issues on external sources. Over time, the case manager observed that conversations throughout case management shifted to positive and constructive ways of approaching difficult situations. At the end of services, living conditions were significantly improved, though the family struggled to maintain consistency in the daily cleaning schedule. The case manager worked with the property owner to have the mold removed from under the bathtub and other necessary repairs. At the service completion, the family was stable and successfully linked to needed resources.
Differential Response Services is a program of Kern County Superintendent of Schools
Greenfield School Readiness
Through the success of the First 5-funded “Tell Me A Story” Program, Greenfield School Readiness has made great strides in serving new families and supplying them with needed programs. One such program is the new Papyrus Literacy Program. The program helps and encourages parents with 0-5 aged students to understand the importance of reading and literacy for future growth. Families meet with program advisers and parents and
students are given 0-5 age-appropriate books to learn the fun of reading together. All materials for the program are bilingual (English &
Spanish). The program completed its first session on December 19th to much praise.
During the last class session, several pre-school teachers were surprised at the increase of growth and student engagement in class because of the Literacy Program. One girl moved from 1.8 to 3.2 reading level over the 10 week period. Parents stated that the program helped them build a better relationship with their children and learn together. They said the culture of learning at home has changed their lives. They didn’t want the program to end.
The “Tell Me A Story” program has expanded to serve two additional school sites within the GUSD, to much praise from parents and educators alike.
Often, the Greenfield Family Resource Center can work with families to help them overcome their own obstacles. Recently they had a family facing difficulty in attending a program at one of their school sites. Mom was facing transportation issues and sought an advocate’s help to come up with a transportation plan so child could attend class. Mom and the Advocate were able to analyze the GET Bus schedules to find a bus route that can be used for child to attend center-based class and an alternative transportation plan with another family member that has a vehicle. Mom was very happy to finally feel like she has more control over her situation and is happy her child can attend class regularly now.
Greenfield School Readiness is a program of the Greenfield Union School District
Guardianship Caregiver Project
GBLA is happy to finally have obtained letters and orders of guardianship for two of our clients who are loving grandparents of two little girls. We opened the case in March 2018 and we represented at many court hearings, including a trial. The case, which spanned 18 months, saw worsening addictive behaviors for both the mother and father, and a strengthening of resolve by the grandparents to provide a loving and stable environment for the girls.
This case was illustrative of the fact that many people starting out on a guardianship think that they can resolve things quickly by creating a strong motivation for a parent to “straighten themselves out” and experience family reunification. Despite mother’s earnestly stated desire to get herself clean for her girls’ sake, she has suffered relapse after relapse. Father has not addressed domestic violence issues which he has.
While these grandparents have not given up their desire to see mother’s (or father’s) recovery happen, they have learned that they are in this for the long haul and have been able to help the family to start recovery from their roller-coaster existence during this trying time.
The Guardianship Caregiver Project is a program of Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc.
Lamont/Vineland School Readiness Program
Recently, one of the families that we have worked with many times over the past few years unfortunately had their children taken into foster care. Although this was a very tragic situation for all involved, the resources that have been put in place through the Family Resource Center, School Readiness Initiative, and the school district proved to be invaluable to the family. We were able to connect school aged children to services quickly in their foster homes, offer support to mom to help her begin the process of hopefully reunifying her family, provide support to the sister who has some of the younger children, and connect the father of one of the children to the co-located services provided by Child Support Services to be able to get custody. During this very difficult and intense process we continually provided support and resources to the family, and the entire situation really exemplified one of the key benefits of family resource centers as a safety net for our children and families.
The Lamont/Vineland School Readiness Program is a program of the Lamont School District
Medically Vulnerable Care Coordination Project
The Care Coordination Project was able to help one family access the behavioral Assessment that the family wished for their daughter. Their insurance was not covering the assessments and the family was very afraid of a lag in coverage making the move to a new insurance service. The Care Coordinator was able to make the family’s insurance company aware to this barrier for services and they were able to help her navigate successfully to secure the services the family wanted for their daughter. The insurance company was unaware there was a barrier in place.
The MVCCP is a project of the County of Kern Public Health Services Department
Medically Vulnerable Infant Program
A 24 month old boy was acting out, crying and banging at the closet door at one of the MVIP nurses bi-weekly home visits. When asked mother what the toddler was wanting, she said, “A felt hanger. He likes to eat them.” Mother explained that this had been going on for about a month. The RN explained to mother to distract and redirect toddler to another activity, i.e., favorite toy or read a book. Just as a precaution the MVIP nurse also directed a call to a pediatrician for a consult for possible medical vs behavior issue. The nurse reported concerns to the pediatrician via home visit report. The toddler was seen by pediatrician and labs were drawn, showing that the toddler was very anemic and he was given new prescription for an iron supplement. The pediatrician’s diagnosis was that the toddler was having cravings for non-food items, known as “PICA”, due to the deficiency of iron. Iron is needed to build healthy red blood cells. Continue support and follow-up is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment and to check for complications.
The Medically Vulnerable Infant Program is a program of Clinica Sierra Vista
Neighborhood Place Community Learning Center
One of our students is 4 years old. He started our program in October, never having been in a school setting at all and speaking very little English. He is very quiet and doesn’t speak much but after just a few months he is thriving in class. He participates when asked, is kind to others, and follows the flow of the class well. Some improvements we would like to see this student work towards is communicating, move on his own without being prompted, and engaging more with his peers. We believe he will accomplish this by continuing to come to class and that he will be ready for kindergarten in the fall.
The Neighborhood Place Community Learning Center is a project of the North of the River Recreation and Parks District
Nurse Family Partnership Program
One of the mothers in the program is 22 year old with good support from the father of the child. Her goal was to exclusively breastfeed but she was struggling with the anxiety and fatigue by day 4. Both parents felt very anxious and worried that baby was not “eating constantly” and were concerned that their baby was losing weight. The public health nurse encouraged both parents to relax, take deep breaths and to take a break while she held baby for a few minutes, and engaged the parents in general conversation and noticed both parents settle down. When baby began to show hunger cues the nurse recognized an opportunity to witness their breastfeeding technique, and reassure Mom that everything she and the baby were doing was proper and praised her effort. She suggested that offering the baby the breast at every awakening or sign of alertness or hunger cue for a day or two would encourage her milk supply to increase. Due to baby’s weight loss, the nurse reviewed with parents the need for feeding every 1-1.5 hours, reviewed signs to watch that the baby was feeding enough, and helped identify opportunities to feed. She also arranged for another home visit three days later to assess baby’s weight and feeding. During this follow up home visit, Mom seemed much more relaxed happy and the nurse noted a weight gain of 14 ounces in just three days. Both Mom and Dad were still anxious at times, but settling into their roles and happy to see improvement.
The Nurse Family Partnership Program is a program of the County of Kern Public Health Services Department
Richardson Special Needs Collaborative
The mother of a 3-year-old child recently came to the Richardson Special Needs Collaborative and shared with the Family Advocate that her daughter had been diagnosed with Autism. The mother was unsure of services that are available for her child since her child exited the Early Start program. The mother explained that she has called school district to enroll her daughter in a preschool setting but has not been successful, and was asking the Richardson Special Needs Collaborative for assistance. The parent also shared that she is concerned about the child’s behavior and placement due to child’s disability. The parent reported that the child is anxious because she was familiar with her routine and not having educational tools available was causing more behavioral issues. Also, in the home environment there are employment issues due to dad ability to work because he was in accident at his previous employment.
The Family Advocate worked with the parent to create goals and put the family on the right track. The first step was obtaining a meeting at the school to review assessments done by the Special Education team, and they then proceeded to enroll the child in speech therapy. The parent was then able to apply for Social Security Benefits with some assistance, accompanying the parent on multiple appointments with the SS office. Finally, the parents last goal was to obtain behavioral therapy. The parent was advised by the Family Advocate to call her primary doctor to request a referral through her insurance. She took all the proper steps and the child was approved for behavioral services. The parent asked the Family Advocate for assistance with a behavioral provider and they assisted the parent in scheduling a tour of the office and even came along to visit the facility. Her daughter started services a few weeks after, and since then, the parent has reported that her child is very successful, happy and continues to make progress in all areas. The Family Advocate additionally assisted the family by referring them for food baskets. It appears this has been a successful experience for the family.
The Richardson Special Needs Collaborative is a program of Kern County Superintendent of Schools
Shafter Healthy Start
One recent case is of a family of six, including a mother, father, and four children – two of which were under five. The client is a stay at home mother and the father works full time earning minimum wage. The mom was interested in getting her 4 year old daughter enrolled into the School Readiness Initiative Preschool Program and obtaining workshops that can help parents support their children at school and in the home. The child was enrolled on to SRI Preschool program and the 2-year old was placed on waiting list.
Additionally, the mother was almost done with high school in Los Angeles county, but moved to Kern County before obtaining high school diploma. Mother was referred to Wasco Adult School for her diploma, after our case manager assisted in reaching out to LA County SD to be able to obtain her past school records. The family was also referred to Operation School Bell, where the two oldest children obtained school clothes, and the Shafter Christmas store for Christmas gifts for the children at 90% off retail price. Both of the youngest children obtained dental screening from the Kern County Children’s Dental Networks, and the mother actively volunteered at the SRI Preschool and attended workshops such as Mandated Child Abuse Reporter, Sexual Abuse Mandated Reporter, Suicide Prevention, Clean Home Healthy Life, Kindergarten Registration, and Childhood Depression. She received an award of outstanding participation and parent involvement during SRI Fall graduation, and her family is stable at this time.
Shafter Healthy Start is a program of Richland School District
Small Steps Child Development Center
One child recently joined us at Small Steps a month after his little brother enrolled. This child is now enrolled in the Toddler classroom; he currently has an IFSP in communication. Therapist, teachers, and mom have been working together through several therapy sessions throughout the week to help him master his goals. When he first started in the toddler class he would do a lot of solitary play, there was minimal interaction with peers. Throughout time being at Small Steps he is now interacting with his classmates. He works at the sensory table using the same materials with other peers. He engages in parallel play sharing toys with others. He used to carry his pacifier at all times throughout the day in his mouth. He is now able to minimize the pacifier usage to just nap time. This child has significantly increased his use of language and is now able to communicate throughout the day. He is able to ask for help when needed or ask for more food during lunch and snack time. We have noticed a lot of changes in his development. He continues to increase his verbal usage to communicate his wants and needs. We are happy with the process he has made and will continue to work with him, mom, and the therapist to make sure he continues to master his goals.
The Small Steps Child Development Center is a program of the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault
Women’s Shelter Network
We had a family of three to come stay with us. A Mom and 2 small children, a boy and a girl. The boy was 3. He was very angry and had many emotions. They were homeless fleeing domestic violence living out of a van before they came here to stay. While Mom would prepare a meal he would scream the entire time. If you made eye contact with him he would yell at you to stop looking at him. A simple good morning greeting, he would reply with something negative. Mom got a job and found a preschool/daycare for him. It was rough at first the school called constantly to have him picked up because he could not follow the rules or guidelines. He was very mean to the other children in the shelter. He was tough! With empathy, compassion and much patience we were able to break through with him. This family was part of our transitional housing program. They stayed in the shelter for 5 months. They were able to find permanent housing and by the time they left the little boy was able to greet all of us properly. It was wonderful to see that he was willing to open up to trust again. He was happy and is now doing amazing in preschool. He would laugh and play with other children as 3 year old should be able to.
The Women’s Shelter Network is a program of Women’s Center – High Desert, Inc.
First 5 Kern’s support of local FRCs and CRCs
In a county as expansive as Kern, with smaller, outlying communities, sometimes getting connected with the services you need for your family is a particularly challenging issue. First 5 Kern is proud to partner with various Family and Community Resource Centers throughout the county to help make those connections possible.
Arvin Family Resource Center
The husband of a case managed mom has mental issues that escalated and caused a crisis. The Family Advocate (FA) supported mom with crisis information and referrals, and supported mom as she went to court to advocate for her husband to receive mental health services. The father is now receiving services and is n longer in the home, keeping the family in a safe environment. In addition, the Family Advocate is helping mom with referrals to counseling for the family.
Another case-managed parent was having difficulty clearing her older child’s hair from lice. She missed quite a bit of school. She came to the Arvin Family Resource Center frustrated, believing that the school nurse was wrong and there was no lice and that she had to leave work early. The Family Advocate modeled how to look through child’s hair and showed her what the nits looked like. She helped her remove many nits. The parent also received products to help control the lice from returning. The child has now been attending school and is free of lice.
The Arvin Family Resource Center is a program of the Arvin Union School District
Buttonwillow Community Resource Center
Last year, a student in our center-based program had difficulties with transitions, whether we left the classroom for PE, music, or the cafeteria. When it came time to go, the student would hide or plunk down on the floor, requiring the teacher or aide to gently coax the student into joining the rest of the class. This year, the student’s final year in preschool, the student enjoys being asked to be the line leader and the special friend of a shy classmate. The “responsibility” of helping others has contributed to the student’s maturity, the ability to adapt to other surroundings, and to the overall enjoyment of school and new friends.
The Buttonwillow Community Resource Center is a program of the Buttonwillow Union School District
East Kern Family Resource Center
In August 2015, the EKFRC staff was formally introduced to this little one a few weeks after she was born. We came to know about her while her mom was receiving case management services during her pregnancy. After the client successfully completed the Differential Response program, she was transitioned into our First 5 program where we began supporting the client with her new baby’s development. During the first year, the client shared with the case manager that this is the first child she has been able to enjoy raising. Unfortunately, this client was making some poor lifestyle choices with her older children that resulted in the children being removed from her custody permanently. Even though today this client’s life is not where she has dreamt it to be, she has learned and continues to learn how to live within her means, she values creative thinking and appreciates her child. Over the past 3 years this client has provided her child learning opportunities that didn’t cost much money but provided her child with the necessary learning skills that will last her the rest of her life. On the day of her child’s 3rd birthday, the client came to the office of the EKFRC to enroll her child into our center base program. The client wanted to make sure her child would not miss out on this learning opportunity. Even though this little one was the youngest in the class, she was ready to be in the classroom. This year the child will be in our graduating class of 2020! She continues to be the youngest chronologically in the class but is a leader and model in the classroom for the children who are not as skill ready as she is.
The East Kern Family Resource Center is a program of Community Action Partnership of Kern
Indian Wells Family Resource Center
Recently, a local family of four with two children under five was referred to us by WIC. The older child was having speech problems and was behind on well checks/immunizations, the family lacked reliable transportation and were having trouble with budgeting and paying bills on time; and there was an issue with the family’s benefits as they were no longer receiving food stamps and needed food. The father was working full time but the mother was unemployed. We enrolled the family in case management services through Prop 10 and provided them with referrals and transportation for medical care, dental care and DHS appointments, and the family was also assisted with HEAP application for an overdue utility bill. We connected them to the Salvation Army for food and clothes for the children. The case manager referred the older child to Kern Regional Center for his speech problem (where he was enrolled in services) and also referred both children to a pediatrician for well check and immunizations and to the dentist. When the older child went to the doctor for his well check, it was discovered that he had a problem with his ears and was referred by the pediatrician to a specialist out of town. The family was transported by the case manager out of town for the child’s appointments due to their lack of reliable transportation. The child had some ear tubes put in his ears and after a while and with the speech therapy, the child can hear better and is able to also speak better. Later, the child was also referred to preschool, and the mother reported that the child likes preschool and is doing great. The child speaks much better and engages in conversation with the family and case manager during home visits. The children were assessed with the Ages & Stages Questionnaires appropriate for their ages and parents were provided with activities to assist the children in meeting developmental milestones. Case manager provided emotional support to family as needed and mother learned to manage her stress and depression that were brought on by the speech problems her child had and other problems. Presently, the family is enrolled in Medi-Cal, the children are current with their well checks, immunizations and dental care and the older child is continuing to receive speech therapy. The family’s living conditions and relationship have improved greatly, and the family seems happier, with more positive attitude. This family has made significant progress in the time they have been enrolled in case mismanagement and exit planning will begin in the next couple of months to transition the family out of case management services.
The Indian Wells Family Resource Center is a program of Clinica Sierra Vista
Kern River Valley Family Resource Center
We have had the chance to help a mother with four children in the home. The mother had concerns that one child was not developing in the milestones of communication, with a possible learning disability, and the child had persistent nightmares. It was possible that the child was experiencing trauma from being abused by its father and was acting out in anger to their siblings. Two of the children were twins and when she gave birth, one twin was much smaller and not physically developing as much as the other. We were able to obtain a meeting with the school nurse and although a development assessment did not show significant delays, we were able to refer both mother and child to College Community Services (CCS) to address the sleep issues and hitting and emotional outbursts. They were both able to receive in-home services. We were also able to provide the family with food cards and connect them to Southfork Special services & Kern Regional Center for counseling, as well as the Southfork School superintendent to set up an IEP. A doctor’s appointment was made to get all necessary immunizations for the oldest child to attend Kindergarten as well. The smaller twin was referred to a local family doctor and has now been referred to Valley Children’s in Madera for potential spinal damage. MOB has had to carry the family load with most of the responsibility and very little help from family. The stress was very obvious with the family and as time has gone on with all the support, mom is becoming stronger and more resilient to the stressors the family presents.
The Kern River Valley Family Resource Center is a program of the Kernville Union School District
Lost Hills Family Resource Center
One local parent made the decision of removing his child from our center based classroom because his child is being seen by a speech therapist and he is having a hard time adjusting to school. FRC staff spoke with the parent and the parent was determined to drop his child from classroom because the child kept on crying every time mother will drop him off. Staff told the mother that is common that children cry for the first few weeks of school because they are getting familiar with the environment, staff, and other children. The child’s speech teacher recommend our classroom to the parent without realizing he was already enrolled with us. We were all able to work together to keep the child enrolled, continue their speech therapy and work with the family to bring the best services to her child and provide a room for the therapist to work with the child one-on-one in the same building.
The Lost Hills Family Resource Center is a program of the Lost Hill Union School District
Mountain Communities Family Resource Center
Recently, a single dad of three children (the mother is incarcerated) came to us for assistance. He continues to make such amazing progress I wanted to update his story. He is participating in the Single Parent Project, which he says, “has been eye-opening and life-changing!” He recently attended a field trip to College of the Canyons, where he met with three counselors for over an hour, went through the steps for enrollment, and has started taking classes online. He also continues to be actively engaged in his case
management and is focused on completing his FSP/S.M.A.R.T. goals. One of his children is enrolled in the preschool scholarship program, and it’s reported she is close to being potty trained and is learning her numbers and letters and progressing tremendously. All of the FRC staff has rallied around this Dad, we are so very proud of his progress!
The Mountain Communities Family Resource Center is a project of the El Tejon Unified School District
Southeast Neighborhood Partnership Family Resource Center
Recently, one of our case managers has been working with a wife and mother to a beautiful child of 3-years old. Unfortunately, client has no immediate support system, however, has found the support within her case manager. With continuous case management and building rapport, the client has opened up about her past trauma and history of homelessness. The client was faced with many challenges, starting with housing insecurity, but she is elated to have an opportunity to start freshly again and set positive goals for her and her family. She has inquired about many of our resources to help her with housing, parenting and education. She is also interested in becoming a better mother for her child to help her baby reach developmental milestones. None the less, she is also eager to enroll back into school and begin a new journey. Our case management services have also been able to provide support, resources, and contacts for her to obtain proper assistance for her son’s learning disabilities. Although the client has not reached all of her goals yet, she has maintained a positive attitude and is learning how important it is to have a voice and advocate for herself and her children.
Southeast Neighborhood Partnership FRC is a program of Clinica Sierra Vista
West Side Outreach and Learning Center
A parent had filled out a scholarship request for our preschool program prior to the announcement that we would be First 5 funded. When I called her to let her know that we were able to offer her daughter preschool at no cost, she was so very thankful and told us how this would be a huge financial relief to her family. The family had decided to make some sacrifices to be able to afford preschool at a potentially discounted rate (using the STOP program), but learning that there would be no cost at all was a true blessing to them.
West Side Outreach and Learning Center is a program of the West Side Recreation and Parks District