Each CAC team member strives for excellence in CAC’s quest to enable others to enhance the quality of their lives and to share in the promise and opportunity of our community. Each quarter we recognize CAC Champions who, like so many other employees at CAC, have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their work.
This quarter the special recognition goes to the following individuals (pictured from left): Dorcas Schindehette, Helen Ortiz-Jesus and Gwen Hebron.
Gwen, Dorcas, and Helen are Head Start Family Service Workers (FSWs), and are part of a team that manage a combined caseload of 322 children.
As FSWs, Gwen, Dorcas, and Helen have lots of responsibilities. They must complete two home visits per child, establish Family Partnership Agreements with each family, and provide resources and referrals for services such as transportation, education, and workforce development. They must also work with parents on an on-going basis that includes managing crises.
These FSWs work with Head Start parents to identify their goals and then determine pathways to achieve these goals. They also offer encouragement and support, as well as assist families find helping hands in the community. Gwen, Dorcas, and Helen’s main priority is to provide some level of stability for families. They are excellent at performing all their duties.
Gwen and Dorcas have taken a team approach to working with Dasher Green families. For one Head Start mother, they brainstormed ideas on how to assist her with finding full-time work as a Certified Nursing Assistant. The mother let them know about a certification course she needed, and the Dasher Green team identified a funding source to cover the cost. The mother passed the course with flying colors: a 92% on the final exam and a 93% for the course overall. The mother has already interviewed with and accepted a job offer from Howard County General Hospital. The mother was quite grateful to Gwen and Dorcas for all the support and encouragement she received.
Helen is a lifelong learner and always ready to take on new strategies or approaches to serving Head Start families. She represented CAC earlier this month when she became certified in Family and Community Engagement while at the Maryland Head Start Association conference. Helen often will participate in evening events that are not required, knowing that by attending she is showing parents and children she cares about them and their well-being and is interested in building more rapport with them. Helen also takes the initiative to translate documents into Spanish and interpret for Policy Council and Parent Committee meetings. We appreciate the extra mile that Helen takes to allow CAC to better serve Head Start families.