I would like to create, promote, and implement a program that acts as a resource to local schools. There is a dramatic need for children to get attention on issues that cannot be provided within a school setting. For example, there are often educational issues (whether this is an undiagnosed learning disability, a behavioral problem that extends beyond the responsibility of the teacher, or family problems that are effecting academic performance) that are not addressed because there is not somebody who takes the initiative to see that the problems are rectified. This program seeks to aid in this endeavor.
The program will have three main components. The first, is that it would act as a forum of education for New York non-profit agencies whose focus is on the well-being of children, where organizations can learn about the services that others in the area provide. In other words, my program would educate others about the resources available. I have seen how a lack of familiarity with resources has come between a child and the help that he or she needs. Especially when such help exists, it should not be difficult to find. I seek to make child-oriented agencies aware of each other, so they are best able to help the clients they see. It is essential that help be easily accessible, and the best way of insuring this is to education all about what actually exists.
The second component of the program will be to act as an actual referral center, whereby children can come, have educational and psychological assessments performed (all on a sliding scale to allow for low-income families to receive services that are often only available to the more affluent), and then referred to one of the child-oriented organizations that the program works with.
The third component (as I have been writing in a somewhat bottom-up format), refers back to the program description. The program seeks to provide every school with an assigned liaison, whose job is to monitor students (with the help of teachers, school psychologists, school social workers, principals, other school administrators, and parents) who have been at some level identified as being in need of help. The program-assigned liaison will make recommendations based on interviews and assessments, and will then use those assessments to find the appropriate resource for the child.
The beauty of this program is that it, from a singular, central location, can be involved in every aspect of helping a child get the care that he or she needs. Specifically, we will use our ties with surrounding organizations, agencies, and all other non-profit programs, to get children the care that the previously available resources fell short on. By making connections within the community and being a large, visible component of the social service resources available in the area (whatever area that is), this program has the capacity to oversee the diagnosis, referral, and implementation of a course of aid that can bring a child from one state of efficiency and well-being, to another. Using the community as a resource and the willingness of parents as a crutch, the proposed program can make a significant impact on the lives of children. This impact will directly influence their performance in school, home, and social lives.