A mother called the Resource and Referral in need of assistance in finding child care for her five year old daughter. She was having difficulty locating child care because although the various centers she spoke with had space available, they wouldn't be able to take a 5 year old with Cerebral Palsy (CP). The reasons for not accepting her child ranged from the classroom doors not being wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair to having to hire another staff person to not having a diaper changing table for a 5 year old.
The parent became discouraged and called us. We gave her referrals to about five centers in her area, one of them being a center that specialized in working with children and adults with CP. The parent called a couple of days later to let us know she found child care and to thank us for our help and patience as we worked at finding child care for her daughter. Although she didn't choose a center from our referrals, she said the tips for quality child care and the information on the Americans with Disabilities Act included in the packet were extremely helpful in her search for care.
A parent called Resource and Referral (R&R) very upset because he needed child care assistance right away. He came to our office looking for immediate answers. The parent worked two jobs and, in the evenings while he was at work, his children were exposed to some terrible situations while they were with their mother. Because of the situation, he was forced to quit his second job so his finances were strained. While the parent was here he completed a Child Care Assistance (CCA) application which the R&R Specialist delivered to the appropriate party for him. He was advised of the CCA process and encouraged to keep updating his information on the wait list.
The Specialist discussed Head Start, on-site after school programs for his oldest child, YMCA's and YWCA's, and the possibility of speaking with the director of his current program to request emergency assistance. He was also given resources for food, clothing, rent and electric assistance so some of his money could be freed up to help pay for child care, he was given an application for food stamps to take with him. The Specialist asked how his children were dealing with all of the stress and he stated his first grader had detention and his preschooler always suffered from stomach aches. The Specialist explained play therapy to the parent and contacted CCG's Social Service Manager for a referral to a program offering therapy on a sliding fee scale. Since the children were experiencing these behaviors, the parent was encouraged to make every attempt to keep them in their current child care facility as they had been there for a year and the continuity would be good for them.
A parent called to say "Thank you" to a Resource and Referral Specialist for helping her find care in December when she felt like she had no hope. She said the Specialist was her "angel"; she listened to her while she cried and helped her find solutions. The parent had just lost her Child Care Assistance (CCA) funding and felt very distraught. The Specialist helped her locate more affordable child care at a family child care home that her daughter loved. She learned new language skills, letters, and was potty trained while attending the family child care home. Recently, the parent lost her job and is unable to pay for the care so her daughter no longer attends the program. The Specialist offered many solutions such as the TWC office, food stamps, help paying electricity or another search. The parent did not want any additional assistance, she just wanted to let the Specialist know how much she had helped and that she would never forget the Specialist's name or the help that she gave her.
A father came into our office looking for help with child care while he was living in a shelter because his house burned down. He had also just lost his Child Care Assistance funding in the first round of dis-enrollment in Dallas County. He was referred to six programs offering sliding fee scales.
At the beginning of the parent education class at the Masters One Stop, one woman was very doubtful about what the facilitator had to offer. She appeared very skeptical and didn't really want to listen or participate. By the end of the class she approached the facilitator, gave her a hug, and said thank you for the class.
The topic for the parenting sessions was "Communication: Words and Actions." The facilitator and participants discussed what they communicated to their children when calling them names such as "lazy" or "stupid." One father suddenly had a revelation about how his son must feel when he and his wife call him "baby." He is referred to as "baby" because he is the youngest family member. His father suddenly realized this is why he tries to prove he can do more and be bigger than he really is. Amazing for him and the rest of the class to realize what a simple name can do.