Exercises for "Nobody's Home"

A parent calls the Head Start office to say, "I'm really sorry, but I can't pick Jenny up at the bus stop today. Take her to my friend Shirley's home with Shirley's daughter, Anne." It is a busy day for the secretary who is distracted with other demands. At the end of the day, George, the bus driver, loads all the children without getting any verbal or written instructions regarding Jenny. There is no one waiting to pick up Jenny at her primary drop-off point. The emergency card shows nothing regarding an alternate drop-off for Jenny, though the home of Shirley/Anne is listed. George uses his radio to call the Head Start center but there is no response.

Define the problem

  • What is the immediate problem facing George?
  • What is the problem here for the program as a whole?
  • What is the problem from the perspective of Jenny's mother?

Generate data about the problem

  • What would we need to know about this agency's child release policy?
  • Does this represent a common problem for this agency?
  • What do we need to know about the communication between the central office and transportation staff?

Generate ideas/alternate courses of action

  • What are some different ways to resolve this situation from the perspective of the bus driver?
  • What are some options for the bus monitor or bus driver in terms of ensuring Jenny's safety and well-being?

Choose among the alternate solutions

  • What are some of the pros and cons for the responses to the previous question?
  • Which course of action seems like the best to take when presented with this situation? Why?

Implement the solution or decision

  • Assume that this scenario has played out as written; write a conclusion that demonstrates an appropriate response on the part of the bus driver/bus monitor and other agency personnel.
  • Who might be a resource within the program that could help brainstorm potential solutions on how to handle some of these problems?
  • What sort of training is necessary to prepare transportation staff to deal with similar situations in the future?

Return to List of Scenarios

Last Reviewed: April 2010

Last Updated: November 13, 2014