The Stark County Educational Service Center's CARE Team Initiative was honored recently with Ohio Children's Trust Fund's 2019 Everyday Ohio Hero Award. The Fund recognized Stark's CARE Teams and Family Support Specialists for their efforts in fostering optimal outcomes for our county's children, youth and families.
The Stark County CARE (Coordinates & Aligns Resources to Engage Empower & Educate) Team Initiative is a comprehensive, holistic, county-wide system of care that is comprised of a team of administrators, school counselors, teachers and staff, as well as family support specialists and community agency providers. The CARE Team initiative is one of Stark County's best examples of collaboration, partnering with nine local organizations as well as all seventeen Stark County school districts. These partnerships offer school personnel immediate access to community resources.
Each CARE Team meets regularly to develop strategies and align resources to promote physical, social, emotional, and intellectual supports for every student to be successful. CARE Teams are able to foster healthy development, intervene early, and provide specialized assistance for those with severe, pervasive or chronic barriers to learning.
The Family Support Specialists (FSS) serve on the CARE Teams and provide the critically important connection between the families, students and school personnel. They connect families to school and community support services and programs and facilitate family involvement in their child's learning. For many, the Family Support Specialist is a true lifeline to overcome life challenges.
"We are so honored to be recognized for the work of our CARE Teams and Family Support Specialists and the commitment they make every day to empower and impact students and families! These 'everyday heroes' dedicate their time, efforts, and lives to support students and families," declared Kay Port, Director of CARE Teams.
The Stark Education Partnership congratulates the CARE Team leaders - Kay Port, Carla Bidlack, Lynette Blasiman and Crissy Mudd - along with all members of Stark's 112 CARE Teams and their Family Support Specialists on this prestigious award.