Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) has awarded Catholic Charities of Tennessee a $450,000 per year contract, renewable annually for up to a total of five years, to provide case management, crisis counseling, and referral services to MNPS pre-K students and their families. The full potential of the contract is $2.25 million.
The new program's focus will be on increasing educational achievement and reducing absenteeism for pre-K students, according to Vickie Lawson, the agency's Family Support Service supervisor who will oversee the initiative.
"Our agency has a great relationship with MNPS," Lawson said. "We have been working with the MNPS HERO program for more than a year, helping families struggling with homelessness. This new program to support pre-K children and their families will be a great expansion of our partnership."
"It is truly an honor to have been selected by MNPS for this program," added Bill Sinclair, Catholic Charities' executive director. "It is a testimony to our agency's great reputation in the community and the excellent service our staff provides."
According to Collen Mayer, Social Services director for the agency, this award almost did not happen.
"We almost didn't apply," he shared. "The contract proposal submission had a really quick turn-around time; it was due right in the middle of the agency's recent move to its new offices at the Catholic Pastoral Center on McGavock Pike." Staff worked several long nights to get the proposal completed.
Mayer received word of the contract's awarding shortly after returning from the recent World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
"Pope Francis delivered such a strong message about the importance of supporting families in need," he said. "Through this program, we will be able to accompany families currently struggling with poverty and other family crises and help them find a path offering hope of a brighter future for their children."
The contract will support the hiring of six Masters-level Family Support Specialists, explained Lawson. "We are looking for experienced caseworkers with a passion for working with young children and their families. This is going to be hard work, but also very rewarding."
Job details and submission details are posted on the Center for Nonprofit Management's website (https://scooter.cnm.org/JobSearch.aspx) and on the Diocese of Nashville's website (http://dioceseofnashville.com/employment-opportunities). Lawson hopes to have all of the positions filled and operational by December 7.
SOURCE: http://www.dioceseofnashville.com/documents/2015/8/tnregister.pdf (Page 19)