Disabilities Coordinator (Port Chester Head Start)

JOB DESCRIPTION

Family Services of Westchester, Inc. (FSW) provides mental health and social services that strengthen and support families, children and individuals at every stage of their lives. Serving 30,000 people a year, including 20,000 children, with nearly 50 innovative programs, including counseling, education and support, FSW is a pillar of health in the Westchester community.

JOB TITLE: Disabilities Coordinator (Port Chester Head Start)

JOB STATUS: Full-time

SUPERVISED BY: Site Director

PURPOSE:

The Services to Children with Disabilities content area is an integral part of the larger system of services provided by Head Start. It plays an important part in supporting the goals of the program. This position is responsible for services to children with disabilities of the Head Start Performance Standards. This includes working to develop appropriate placement and early childhood education curriculum and providing educational resources for staff and parents, ensuring compliance with performance standards and recognized best practices in the field of early childhood education and special education. This position ensures that the disabilities services provided are supported by staff and/or consultant with training and experience in field(s) related to social, human or family services so that needed services for children with disabilities can be individualized and secured.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Takes the lead in initial development of the Disabilities Work Plan, then administers, monitors and revises as necessary. Makes sure that all staff are familiar with the Plan.
  • Ensures Head Start/Early Head Start Services to children with disabilities are in compliance with federal regulations and laws governing disabilities efforts as defined in IDEA and ADA.
  • Coordinates the recruitment of children with disabilities into the program with other staff and community agencies.
  • Ensures attendance of a Head Start/Early Head Start staff member(s) at the IEP/IFSP process.
  • Establishes policies and procedures for implementation of the disabilities portion of the program with parents and staff.
  • Assists in locating, setting up and accessing contract services to meet the need of children and families.
  • Establishes a referral process for any suspected disability/developmental delay or at risk for development delay, including a tracking system for follow-up.
  • Arranges for further, formal education of a child who has been identified as possibly having a disability/developmental delay.
  • Works closely together with other managers/specialists/coordinators in the assessment process and follow up to assure that the special needs of each child with disabilities are met.
  • Collaborates with local education agencies (LEA’s) and special service providers to ensure integrated, coordinated provision of special services to include joint parent and staff training and Child Find activities. Initiates community partnership agreements.
  • Develops and implements a strategy which supports a successful transition for children with disabilities or other special needs into the Early Head Start/Head Start Program or from Early Head Start into Head Start or Head Start into kindergarten or another community program. Works closely with the Part C Early Intervention Program and Early Head Start to recruit and enroll eligible children into Head Start/Early Head Start.
  • Works with supervisor and other management staff in planning and budgeting of funds to assure that the special needs identified in the IEP/IFSP are fully met, that children most in need of an integrated placement and of special assistance are served; and that the program maintains the level of fiscal support to children with disabilities consistent with the congressional mandate to meet their special needs as well as other community-based programs.
  • Assists the staff persons working in the Family and Community Partnerships area and family services staff in compiling current resource information related to disabilities services.
  • Provides technical support to the teachers and other staff as needed.
  • Assists in implementing intervention strategies within the classroom or home-based setting with the intent for teachers and other staff to be able to carry out strategies independently.
  • Provides services to Head Start/Early Head Start families with children with disabilities in cooperation with other agencies/providers. Oversees referral of parents and children to other agencies/providers.
  • Identifies and works with community resources for provision of services to children with disabilities.
  • Attends all workshops and meetings as deemed necessary by the immediate supervisor.
  • Attends all required staff and parent meetings and activities.
  • Responsible for understanding Head Start Performance Standards and local childcare licensing regulations.

COMMUNICATION:

  • Develop and maintain procedures for documenting, multi-disciplinary team Information, and tracking systems for Disability Services.
  • Work with staff to develop, Implement and review Individualization for developmental social-emotional concerns of children.
  • Provide support, resources referrals to families and staff in the area of disabilities.
  • Determines appropriate training needs to meet the program goals and objectives and makes the necessary recommendations.
  • Ability to communicate ideas and instructions orally and in writing.
  • Ability to write reports and business correspondence.
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general health and disabilities journals and resource materials on Transition.
  • Ability to speak before groups of individuals.
  • Maintains strict confidentiality with respect to Head Start/Early Head Start children, families and staff in accordance with established policies and procedures.

PLANNING:

  • With the other managers/specialists/coordinators, plans and implements pre-service and on-going in-service for classroom, home-based, transportation, food services and family services staff.
  • Provides guidance and oversight to teaching staff through monitoring and in designing developmentally appropriate classroom or home-based environments as related to children with disabilities.
  • Works with staff person(s) responsible for the content area in health, nutrition, mental health, and safety education curriculum.
  • Reviews and knows the agency employee recruitment and selection procedures to ensure reaching the 10% enrollment requirement for children with disabilities.

COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT:

  • With the other managers/specialists/coordinators:
  • a) Monitors compliance with the Head Start/Early Head Start Work Plan, and the Head Start Performance Standards in the area of Services of Children with Disabilities and the Education and Early Childhood Development as it relates to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with developmental delays or at risk for such.
  • b) Develops and implements a plan and system of continuous monitoring and evaluation of activities within the program.
  • c) Ensures the program uses only research based developmental and behavioral screening tools (reliable, valid, etc.)
  • Maintains team filing, tracking and documentation systems.
  • Monitors compliance with the Head Start Program Performance Standards.

QUALIFICATIONS:

EDUCATION:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in special education, social work, psychology, or child development.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:

  • At FSW, we require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to work at any of our locations.

SKILLS:

  • Ability to implement the Head Start Performance Standards and policies of the agency.
  • Ability to exercise professional judgment in evaluating before making decisions.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with agency staff, children and parents, and outside agencies.
  • Ability to assist staff at all levels to understand and work sensitively and appropriately with children with a variety of disabilities, developmental delays or at risk for such.
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) is a plus.

EXPERIENCE:

  • 3 years + experience related to Early intervention and special education services in Head Start early childhood programs for young children and families from diverse backgrounds.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

Work Environment

  • Travel by car, bus, airplane or train may also be required associated with attendance at conferences, meetings and other duties carried out at distant locations in and out of state and in some cases where some overnight travel may be required.
  • Local travel in the middle of the workday will be required for the above as well as site visits and home visits.
  • May be required to lift up to 45 pounds.
  • Work is generally performed in a classroom setting or in an office environment, involving face-to-face communication.

DIRECT REPORTS: None.

PERFORMANCE CRITERIA:

Performance will be evaluated based on:

  • Performance and Goals
  • Seniority

At FSW, we enjoy working in a collaborative, mission-driven environment and value the benefits of a diversified workplace that prioritizes our clients and the communities we serve. If you want to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people across the communities of Westchester, and if the Disabilities Coordinator position speaks to your capabilities, experience and commitment to social service, please apply through Indeed.com. Qualified candidates will be contacted by phone and/or email.

Family Services of Westchester, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this position, please send your resume to Susan Scharf:  susan.scharf@fsw.org

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