Community Action Partnership of Strafford County is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit organization established under the provisions of the Equal Opportunity Act of 1964 and established in Strafford County in May of 1965.
Published on May 12, 2023 | Impact
Welcome to our interview with Christine Sorensen, an Early Childhood Site Supervisor with the Head Start Program at Community Action Partnership of Strafford County.
In this interview, Christine shares her experience as a newly single mom trying to make ends meet, and how developing a relationship with her family advocate at CAPSC changed the course of her life and, eventually, led her to join the team where she can make a difference in the lives of parents and families just like hers.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience and how you ended up seeking help from CAPSC?
It all started about 16 years ago. I was working a second shift job and my son was just turning 3. Back then the teachers and family advocates did canvassing, they went to people’s homes, left tags on door knobs and if people were around they spoke with them. I happened to be home and I learned about Head Start at FCC.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced and how did you cope with them?
My biggest challenge was that at the time I was also going through a divorce. My family advocate helped me learn about other CAPSC programs like fuel assistance, electric assistance. My family advocate also helped me through the process of finding an apartment.
How did you first learn about CAPSC, and what was your initial impression of their services?
Through Head Start I learned about all the other services CAPSC had to offer. I didn’t realize there was more outside of Head Start, but CAPSC offered lots of other services. I was overwhelmed at first, and then happy that I didn’t have to go searching for help.
Can you describe the process you went through to receive assistance?
The process was quite simple, there was accountability on my end. Attending parenting meetings, having home visits. I even took the parent substitute class.
How did the agency support you and your family and what services did they provide?
After taking the parent substitute training class I became a parent sub. When I was laid off from my other job, CAPSC paid for my education. I received my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.
How, if at all, has your experience with receiving help from CAPSC shaped your perspective on life?
Without the CAPSC family believing in me I would not be where I am today, still doing what I love and moving up the career ladder all because CAPSC gave me a chance. All because of one door tag.
What role do you think community organizations and individuals can play in helping families, and how have they supported you in your journey?
Community organizations make the community thrive. CAPSC gives the community what it needs to build a solid foundation. CAPSC is a vital part that keeps Strafford County moving.
What message or advice would you give to someone who is currently experiencing similar challenges and seeking assistance?
Open your door. I did.
Our Early Care and Education Program is rooted in the Head Start Approach to School Readiness, wherein children ages 0-5 grow socially, emotionally, intellectually, and cognitively, in preparation for elementary education. Children are creative and receptive, and our staff planning revolves around the needs and cues from each child. By respecting and encouraging individual abilities, we hope to develop a strong feeling of self-worth in each child.
Read more here.
Our free parenting classes, playgroups, and community events offer parents and caregivers the support of knowledgeable family support specialists as well as the comfort of others in similar situations.
Learn more here.