Child Support Specialist
The ultimate goal of the Child Support Specialist (CSS) is to support children in crisis while coordinating with other providers including the local 509J school district, Old Mill Center for Children and Families, and the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis to provide a full continuum of services to the children we serve. While each family staying at COI is paired with a case manager, they are primarily focused on the needs of the parents. The CSS is focused on the needs of the children, and coordinates with the family’s case manager to ensure all of the children’s needs are being met.
The core of the CSS role is to coordinate services for families, host weekly activities for children staying in COI’s transformational housing, provide childcare for children while their parents attend life skills classes, and to be onsite as needs arise. They also provide parenting support, modeling appropriate parenting behavior for families, and creating opportunities for positive parent/child interactions. Additionally, the CSS provides crisis intervention and referral services on behalf of the children.
Every week the CSS hosts a homework club, which provides the kids who are in school the time to do their school work as well as seek out help if needed. Other weekly activities include playing board games, arts and crafts, and playing outdoors. Additionally, the CSS also conducts one on one time with each child to give them undivided attention to see how they are doing socially, emotionally, and scholastically.
A key component to the role of the CSS is coordinating with the local 509J school district to ensure the needs of children in school are being met. The Homeless Education Coordinator and Crisis Team Coordinator at the school district communicate any concerns they have about families staying at COI to the CSS, and the CSS contacts them when a new school age child arrives at COI. They work together to make sure children are enrolled in school and address any barriers such as transportation or school supplies.