Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide much more than early childhood education and nutrition. They offer comprehensive, multigenerational services. Programs play a vital role in responding to trauma, promoting resilience, and supporting families and children no matter what challenges they face. These animation videos share the stories of some of the many ways Head Start heals.
Head Start Heals: Beginning Again
Missy: My name is Missy, and I am a bilingual home visitor with Early Head Start, and I work mainly with refugees from Burma and Thailand. Lily was referred into our program about three years ago, and this was my first time working with a refugee family that was also dealing with homelessness.
I guess my first interaction with mom, she seemed a little bit taken aback, and I knew that she was just stressed. The language barrier is a big issue. Lack of education is another one, but she just needed someone to make her believe in herself again, so I needed to hold out hope for her. You know, I asked her, "If you could change one thing about your family right now, what would it be?" And she said, "I want a place of my own and for my children to feel safe and secure and that they're home."
And so, we decided to work with other agencies within the community, and I was able to work with the family; filled out an application for public housing. You know, we had to be very vigilant with keeping up with documents, and at my visit, I would look at letters for her and explain to her what she needed to turn in. After almost a whole year of waiting, the family received a letter that there's an opening, and they finally had a house of their own. That was a proud moment for her and the whole family.
You know, when I first started, I didn't know what Early Head Start is all about. I literally thought I'd just go into a home and talk to their parents about this lesson. But it's a lot more than that.
Missy is a bilingual home visitor for Early Head Start. She helped a refugee family overcome language and educational barriers to find a new home in Chapel Hill, NC.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety
Last Updated: April 19, 2021