Family Engagement Advocate

Apply now Job no: 499216
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 012102 - Human Sciences-Early Years Network
Location: Harrison County
Categories: Support Staff, Head Start Positions
Position Open Date:

Salary Grade/Minimum Salary:

12/Minimum:  $31,500

Department Profile:

Throughout its history, Mississippi State University-Extension (MSU-ES) has demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to programs that directly impact young children and their families. In the past decade, MSU-ES has distinguished itself as Mississippi’s premier infrastructural support of high-quality early childhood education.

Area of Specialization:

MSU - Extension Head Start Programs, Harrison County

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

A. Promote family environments that enhance children’s development: Engage families as
partners in their children’s healthy development and school readiness.
• Participate in outreach, recruitment and attendance follow up activities to engage families
in our program; and to motivate their active participation
• Engage families in the Family Engagement Contract process in order to build relationships and shared accountability for promoting children’s development
• Individualize family engagement and relationship-building to be appropriate to families’
cultural context, as well as respectful of family circumstances.
• Engage families in individualized, in home and group experiences to enhance parent/child interactions that research shows foster school readiness through consistent family routines, positive guidance and discipline, experience rich home environments and literacy activities
• Utilize in-classroom time and home visits to build deeper understanding of the relationship between children’s development and their home environments; as well as to model and coach families in positive parent/child interactions

B. Support families to meet self-identified goals: Engage in a process of collaborative
partnership building with families of children receiving center-based (Early) Head Start
• Utilize family self-assessment information to assist families with self-identified goals to
enhance self-sufficiency in areas such as education, employment, housing, and access to community resources
• Identify and access services and resources responsive to family interests and goals and
follow-up with parents to ensure that services met their expectations and needs.
• Analyze self-sufficiency data and utilize data/results to plan and coordinate a variety of
parent cohort groups that support one another to achieve self-sufficiency goals.
• Coordinate or refer families to opportunities for continuing education, employment training, and other employment services through formal or informal networking in the community.

C. Engage Families to Support one another: Foster a sense of community and sense of
belonging among families in order to strengthen social capital
• Conduct group and center-based workshops and activities designed to build social capital and create a welcoming program community committed to family engagement in children’s learning and development
• Cultivate family leadership and support their advocacy efforts through participation in
program governance bodies such as delegate Policy Committee and grantee Policy
Council, as well as neighborhood and community based advisory groups
• Implement a research based Family Curriculum, Shine On, Families that extends our
classroom curriculum into the family's home, modeling high quality adult-child interactions
teachers use in their classrooms for families around the four Family Life Practices. Focus
on Coordination and collaboration with education.
• Work in conjunction with Center staff and families to plan and conduct a wide variety of
family engagement activities that provide opportunities for families to support one another, including, but not be limited to the following:
o Closing the Achievement Gap workshop series, activities, and campaigns that
promote children’s school readiness
o Self-Sufficiency Sector Groups
o Monthly Family Engagement Network Meetings

D. Enhance Program Collaboration: Build relationships that will enhance communication and
collaboration among internal and external stakeholders
• Work side by side with health, early learning and disabilities and other members of the
family engagement team to support families to be fully engaged in all aspects of our
o Develop effective communication and collaborative strategies with teaching teams to
encourage family engagement in home learning activities, including individualizing
activities based upon family interests and children’s developmental status
o Establish and maintain working relationships with community partners to strengthen
access to resources and training identified as priority goal areas by families

E. Maintain Accurate and timely record-keeping and reporting: Effectively manage workload
and ensure accurate record-keeping and documentation
• Maintain accurate electronic and hard copy records and case notes to support positive
child and family outcomes.
• Document efforts to assist families to identify their strengths, needs, and self-sufficiency
goals through completion of Family Self Assessment, Family Partnership Agreement, and
case notes.
• Record, monitor and follow up on referrals for support services for reporting requirements.
• Submit reports as needed and requested, such as monthly summary tracking reports, etc.
• Participates in assigned meetings, events and training as required.

Non-Essential Duties:
• Performs any and all other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to carry out each essential duty in a satisfactory manner. The job specifications listed below are representative of the education and experience as well as the knowledge, skill and/or ability (KSAs) required.
• Physical exam and background checks are required for this position.
• Travel required locally or long-distance up to 10% of the time for work-related meetings
and functions.
• Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
• Associate’s degree in Social Work, Human Services, Family Counseling or closely related
• Background and experience working with families of children 0-5 years old.
• Familiarity with assessment strategies for high-risk behaviors, including depression,
domestic violence, and substance abuse.
• Minimum of 2 years’ experience working in counseling/family support roles with vulnerable families.

Preferred Qualifications:

1. Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, Human Services, Family Services, Counseling or a
related field preferred
2. Commitment to complete Family Services/Certificate/Credential within 18 months of hire.
3. Experience, training, and skill assisting the parents of young children to advocate for their
families; experience working in low-income diverse communities
4. Bilingual Spanish-English preferred

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

• Ability to interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.
• Ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing.
• Demonstrated computer literacy skills, using MS Office applications and other basic data
systems including internet navigation.
• Must be honest, dependable and able to meet deadlines.
• A passion for achieving positive child and family outcomes through high-quality family
• Self-motivated and able to work independently.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

Physical Requirements:
• Ability to sit most of the time with some bending and reaching.
• Ability to stand, walk, and bend periodically.
• Ability to engage in repetitive movement of wrists, hands, and fingers – typing and/or
• Ability to work frequently at close visual range (i.e. preparing and analyzing data and
figures, accounting, transcription, computer terminal, extensive reading).
• Ability to receive and respond to oral communication.
• Ability to exert up to 10 pounds of force to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects.

Work Environment:
• Work is generally performed in an office environment.
• Noise level in the work environment is moderate to occasionally loud (examples: business
office with computers and printers, light to moderate traffic, human voices).
• Standard office equipment generally used includes:
• Telephone
• Personal Computer (monitor, keyboard, and mouse) or Tablet
• Printer/Photocopy Machine
• Calculator
• Fax Machine
• May be required to operate a motor vehicle during the course of duties.

Instructions for Applying:

All applicants must apply online at by submitting: the completed online application, submit a cover letter, resume, three professional references and a current unofficial transcript (with social security numbers removed prior to submission).
An official transcript will be required if selected for employment.

Restricted Clause:

Contingent upon continued availability of funding.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

Advertised: Central Daylight Time
Applications close:

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