The Indiana Head Start State Collaboration Office (INHSSCO) is located in the Bureau of Child Care. The Division of Family Resources, Bureau of Child Care directly oversees the INHSSCO. The Department's mission is to develop, finance, and compassionately administer programs to provide health care and other social services to Hoosiers in need to enable them to achieve healthy, self-sufficient, and productive lives.
INHSSCO plays an important role in building partnerships at the state and local levels. Their mission is to ensure Head Start's participation in systems-integration strategies to benefit low-income children and families by:
- Helping build early childhood systems and enhancing access to comprehensive services and support
- Encouraging widespread collaboration between Head Start and other appropriate programs, services, and initiatives that augment Head Start's capacity to be a partner in state initiatives
- Facilitating the involvement of Head Start in state policies, plans, processes, and decisions
Major partnerships include:
- Indiana Association for Child Care Resource and Referral (IACCRR)
- Indiana Head Start Association (IHSA)
- Head Start
- Early Head Start
- Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS)
- Multi-Agency Advisory Council (MAAC)
- Bureau of Child Care
- Division of Family Resources
The INHSSCO MAAC has been our greatest asset. The MAAC brings together representatives of 25 agencies, divisions, offices, and councils to share information with one another. They facilitate cooperation and collaboration among members of the early childhood community. In addition, INHSSCO serves as a member or on the leadership committee of another 27 committees, commissions, and coalitions.
The major goals of INHSSCO include:
- Using Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) funding to support the efforts of other groups, agencies, and organizations that have invested in the mission of the INHSSCO.
- Partnering with IHSA and the IACCRR liaison to drive the Head Start, Early Head Start, and MSHS missions.
- Using the most recent needs assessment to focus on collaborations that will benefit programs and Indiana's children and families in the areas of homelessness, childhood obesity, and English language learners (ELLs).
- Partnering with the IACCRR to translate state and federal goals into action at the local level.
- Broadening the Head Start reach into the greater child care community and assisting Head Start programs in accessing supports and resources that are available to them.
- Achieving the goals under Child Care and Early Childhood Systems within the scope of work from the INHSSCO Framework.
In addition to the contributions listed above, INHSSCO has accomplished the following:
- Brought members of the early childhood care and education community together through the MAAC to partner with Head Start and each other in any number of ways.
- Sat at the table wherever early childhood issues were discussed and continue to serve on the leadership teams of many of the committees INHSSCO serves.