Sheltering Arms is different from similar early childhood programs because it comprehensively addresses the needs of the child. Family Support is seen as the responsibility of all staff - teachers included. Sheltering Arms partners with families and communities to ensure children are nurtured and supported at home, at school, and in their community. Family Support Coordinators are available at each center to help parents identify their assets and goals and then link parents with needed resources to achieve those goals. Parenting workshops, one-on-one counseling, GED or ESL classes, and presentations on affordable health care or home buying are a few examples of services to which Sheltering Arms can link to parents. The Parent Leadership Organization, regular parent/teacher conferences, and family-friendly events at each center help parents to develop the lifelong habit of being involved in their child’s education. Family Support is seen as the responsibility of all staff, teachers included. As their children’s first and most important teacher, parents are involved partners every day in the classroom.
Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP): Together with the Doris Duke Foundation, in 2003 CSSP recognized Sheltering Arms as one of 21 programs in the nation that provide exemplary models of how early childhood programs can help detect and prevent child abuse and neglect. Sheltering Arms was also selected to provide technical assistance to 7 states which are piloting the techniques developed through CSSP's research. Currently, Sheltering Arms is helping disseminate the best practices outlined in CSSP's Strengthening Families approach throughout Georgia through the Sheltering Arms Georgia Training Institute.
Family Development Credential: Sheltering Arms has been chosen by Temple University to be the lead agency in Georgia for Temple's Family Development Credential and Training Program.
All Pro Dad: Research has proven the value of a father's involvement in the life of his young child. Since 60% of Sheltering Arms children are growing up in a single parent household, Sheltering Arms has made male involvement a strong priority. Men work at all levels of the organization, as teachers, center directors, and senior management. Fathers, uncles, grandfathers, big brothers, and other male friends and family are involved in All Pro Dad chapters at each Sheltering Arms center. These groups bring men together with other fathers and their children for fun activities and parenting support.
iMOM: This program is a companion to All Pro Dad, only it is for moms. Find resources on parenting, daily emails, recipes, and information from specialists on a variety of family and parenting topics. Each of our sites is involved in iMOM.
Parent Feedback: Every year Sheltering Arms conducts a detailed survey to obtain feedback from our parents and families. Last year:
76% of parents reported their parenting skills had improved since enrolling their children at Sheltering Arms
"I have started to read more and try new and fun activities with my family."
"My child has advanced greatly. He has learned to read, and we have learned very helpful tips for home preparation and reading comprehension."
"Our relationship with our daughter has changed this year. She is much more aware of things that go on in our neighborhood, in nature and in the world. She asks a lot of questions, uses deductive reasoning and has a developing empathy."
"I am very thankful for all the help and information I've received this year from Sheltering Arms."
"My daughters have opened up more with adults and have learned so many new things."
"My child is excited about going to class every day. That makes life easy in the morning."
"Since we have seen our daughter's progress, I have seen my husband more excited about her learning something new each week."
"Because my grandchild attends school here I was able to attend school and graduate last year and again this year. Thanks for your serving me and my grandchild."