Family Services

Family Services

Paladin Family Services

A major component of Head Start programming is Family Services. We strive to provide comprehensive services not only to Head Start children, but also to their families. In our program, every family will have their own Family Advocate. 


Your Family Advocate will provide family visits, create goals with family members, plan family events, and connect your family to community resources! They work closely with teachers to develop plans of action and determine ways to make Head Start programming even better! Let them know what they can do for you! 


Your Family Advocate will help you achieve your goals, support your volunteer and education opportunities, and help navigate local community resources. For example, if you currently have a part-time job, but want to further your education through a vocational program…ask your Family Advocate for assistance! They will help locate vocational programs or direct you to where to go to obtain your GED, etc.  

Family Goal Setting for Head Start Children

Each year, your Family Advocate will complete a Family Partnership Agreement (FPA) with you. The FPA is a goal-setting process so the Family Advocates have an idea of your interests, strengths, and needs. They can help you reach your goals, whether it be to get a new job or find ways to volunteer in your community. Within the first 60 days of school, your Family Advocate will set up a family visit at home, at school, or in a safe place in the community to start your FPA. After that, they will follow-up with you monthly to see how things are going. However, you can always contact them sooner if you need something! 

Parent Engagement

You are your child’s FIRST and most IMPORTANT educator! You can volunteer in the classroom, join our Parent Committee, help plan events and activities, and attend trainings/workshops.


Parent and family engagement is key to your child’s education and success. We provide a variety of opportunities for parent engagement and also invite you to make suggestions for how we can do a better job of engaging families! Some of the activities that we provide on a regular basis are:

  • Parent Committee Meetings
  • Policy Council (Head Start only)
  • Family Fun Nights…do a project, play games, work-out!
  • And more…let us know if you have other ideas, too!

We distribute important information on upcoming events on Learning Genie

Head Start Program

Head Start Father/Father-figure Engagement

We acknowledge, respect, and promote the unique identity of each child and family composition.  In the instance that a family structure is composed of a father or father figure, research indicates that positive adult male figures are important to kids’ growth and development! Our Head Start program wants our fathers and father figures involved in our programming, events, and children’s education! If you are a father or father figure, we want YOU engaged. We offer opportunities year-round for father engagement and would like to hear from you about how you want to be involved. 

Father Figure

Head Start Parent Committee & Policy Council

Parent meetings provide an effective and meaningful way for parents and guardians to guide our program decision-making, provide parent education, curriculum planning, and offers methods of communication with staff.

Our Family Services Staff

Cheryl Matthews

Family Advocate
Associate’s in Sociology | Certified Family Services Specialist | Since 2018

Nedra Jones

Family Advocate
Certified Family Services Specialist | Since 2015

Raida Steele

Family Advocate
Associate degree in Early Childhood Education | Since 2015

Our Locations

Imagination Station

Located in the heart of the Edgewood Neighborhood in Michigan City.

Head Start

Niemann School; Home of Head Start of LaPorte County

Head Start

Bethany Lutheran Church; Home of Head Start of LaPorte County

All Sites Are Equipped With

  • Closed circuit monitoring of every room
  • Secured entry system
  • Radio Communication System
  • One-touch emergency call buttons
  • Strict adherence to licensing, health, and fire regulations
  • ADA accessible and developmentally appropriate fenced-in playgrounds
  • Comprehensive staff training on safety drills, emergency procedures, and active supervision.

Ready to Help?

We need your support! With your gift, Paladin will continue our work to help LaPorte County families meet their goals! May we count on you today?