The Family Development Credential (FDC) Program is a standardized, university-certificated program that is strength-based modeled and focused on self-reliance and community empowerment. It is a requirement for LACOE delegate agency staff that provide services directly to families, and it has recently begun enrolling Policy Council (PC) parents as well.
The FDC program offers six continuing education unit (CEU) credits and is recognized by social services agencies (e.g., fire and police departments), colleges, and universities in 22 states. The nine-month course entails 80 hours of classroom instruction, including regular skills-based assignments on Head Start tools, such as the ChildPlus data management system. Instructors are delegate agency and grantee staff who can teach practical skills from firsthand experience.
There are many personal and professional benefits for LACOE delegate agency and grantee staff who participate, including becoming more effective in helping people set and reach their goals using strength-based approaches. One staff participant stated, “As a Family Development Advocate, my attitude to challenges becomes a big [key] to my success and effective approach to my job performance.”
Historically, the FDC program was only available to staff, but it is now also open to PC parents. Out of the most recent class of 16 students that successfully completed the course, 12 were parents.
The program gives parents opportunities to develop stress-reducing life skills and a sense of well-being, gain better access to community resources, and earn college credits toward a career in early childhood education. PC parent Marisol Meza stated, “Because of this program, I found the strength and the courage to go back to school and even discovered the resources to help my son with his speech and his IEP.”
For more information about the FDC program, please contact Lee Ho at firstname.lastname@example.org or (562) 401-5522.