For parents and children, life at home and school are intimately connected. When parents and their children are dealing with hardship at home, it can be difficult to be engaged and involved in what’s going on at school. It takes a village of parents, teachers, and other school staff to support children on their education and development journey. Community Health Partners’ Parent Liaison Program takes this “village” approach, offering families and young students the best chance possible at success.
Parent Liaisons serve within Livingston's elementary schools, acting as liaisons between parents, teachers, and other school staff to encourage family engagement and connect families with resources they need. Parent Liaisons are CHP staff with backgrounds in education, social work, and child development, who work directly with families in Livingston who have children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. For parents, Parent Liaisons offer education, emotional support, and guidance when it comes to parenting. They also work with teachers and school staff to help them understand family and home circumstances that may be affecting a student's behavior, attendance, and ability to learn.
The Parent Liaison Program is relatively new for CHP – about a year old – and is based on Thrive's program of the same name in Bozeman. Using the same model with support from the Bozeman program, CHP has tailored the program to meet the Livingston community's specific needs. The goals of this program are to improve student learning, behavior, and attendance, and to improve family health and well-being.
CHP knows that all parents face issues and hardships when it comes to parenting and educating their children. This program is designed to help every parent, regardless of their background, income level, or any other social or demographic factor. Parent Liaisons help meet parents' needs irrespective of what they're struggling with, from finding safe food and shelter to merely getting a child ready in the morning to get to school on time. Parent Liaison services cover a broad spectrum, and they'll do whatever they can to help. When not equipped to meet parents' needs themselves, Parent Liaisons excel at connecting families with resources in the community who are.
Parent Liaisons are experts at solving problems. They can help parents understand opportunities to get more actively involved in the school and their child's education. Parent Liaisons also help parents implement positive parenting techniques, build on their families' strengths, and provide emotional support. By eliminating some of the stress in the home between parents and children, you often see a substantial improvement in children's attendance and performance in school.
As we know, a strong education provides unparalleled benefits for long-term behavioral and physical health. We're continually educating ourselves on behavioral health issues and effective responses to conflict. While our Parent Liaisons are not certified therapists, they can refer parents to those services if necessary.
When you sign up to be connected with a Parent Liaison, there's no time commitment. Simply reach out when you need them, or set a regular time each week to meet and discuss any issues you're dealing with.
With the presence of COVID-19 in the Livingston area, Parent Liaisons are flexible and accommodating to parents' comfort levels when it comes to how they communicate. Talk with your Parent Liaison about whether you'd like to meet in person while wearing masks, or if you prefer to chat on the phone or over a Zoom meeting.
If you're interested in connecting with one of our Parent Liaisons, contact Rebecca Loughrie (Washington and Winans) at 406-233-9268 or Amy Clark (East Side) at 406-333-1752. Or visit our Learning Partners page to learn more about our community education programs.