By: Rania Markham
When my kids were 18 months and three months old, our family signed up for CHP ParentChild+, a home mentoring program for families with young children soon heading to preschool or kindergarten.
Each week, a family mentor came to our home to spend time with me and my children. We played, and we talked about parenting and the stages of child development. We played with numbers, colors, shapes, music, and books. My daughter Abigail loved our weekly visits with Olympia, who became an important part of our family’s life, progress, and support system. We know that Abigail’s preschool transition was successful because of the support we had from ParentChild+.
With my son Zachary, things were different. At 18 months, he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Olympia embraced this unexpected news and went above and beyond to connect with Zachary. She also supported me, a mom facing a new parenting challenge.
ParentChild+ supports families of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and experiences. The program is especially helpful for bilingual children and children in lower-income families. It’s widely understood that children with early learning support adjust better to school and are more likely to graduate from high school.
When I decided to pursue a master’s degree in social work and chose CHP Family Services for my internship. CHP has supported my efforts to create new CHP services for families like mine: we now offer playgroups and events and a weekly online support group for families like mine.
And “IEP 101” is a new online workshop to help parents understand the Individual Education Plan, the public school program for children with disabilities.
Personally and professionally, I will be forever grateful for the PC+ experience and to CHP for supporting my efforts to help families like mine.