Office of Child Support Enforcement and Head Start Collaboration
JUL 28, 2000
There are some wonderful new developments in the ongoing collaboration between the Office of Child Support Enforcement and the Head Start Bureau. First, on June 15th we sent a joint letter to the 2,000 plus Head Start Programs nationwide providing them with a brochure entitled, CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES FOR FAMILIES IN HEAD START PROGRAMS and a copy of the video cassette entitled, The Power of 2: Voluntarily Acknowledging Paternity. I am enclosing a copy of the letter and brochure for your information. (You will recall that I earlier sent you a copy of the video cassette program for State duplication and distribution to your Local Child Support Offices.)
Second, the Head start Bureau provided all Head Start Programs with bulk copies of the brochure to distribute to every family enrolled in a Head Start Program. The purpose of the universal distribution was to assure that all the families are accurately informed about child support services. Even though many Head Start families may not be potentially eligible for these services, they may be neighbors and associates of custodial parents in their communities, with whom they can share the information.
Third, in late June the Head Start Bureau announced an Early Head Start Fatherhood Demonstration project linked to child support. The Bureau will provide $2,000,000 annually for each of three years to support at least 16 Early Head Start Fatherhood Demonstration projects to be awarded in October. These funds are being made available to Early Head Start grantees "to increase their capacity to involve fathers in the lives of their children through collaboration with local offices of Child Support and other community resources." Applicants must provide "a viable plan to collaborate with the local Child support Office."
I know you share my excitement about these recent developments, and I ask you to impart this information to your local Child Support Offices and urge their renewed commitment to collaborating with their local Head Start Program. Local Child Support staff should be ready especially to accept invitations to speak at Head Start parents meetings about child support services. Moreover, those offices contacted by an Early Head Start Program in connection with the demonstration grant application should seize the opportunity enthusiastically.
David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement
OCSE AND HEAD START BUREAU JOINT LETTER TO HEAD START PROGRAMS DATED JUNE 15, 2000