Overcoming All Odds: Do you Like Us Now?

dorchestercrystalcampbellIt is with great pleasure that I share how Dorchester County First Steps
has overcome many adversities to reach and make an impact in the lives of the children birth to five and their families in Dorchester County.

Dorchester County has a diverse economic population. The median family income is 65,000.00(according to 2016 Kids Count data). Yet over 8% of children under age 18 are living with parents who are unemployed. As of 2016, 5,393 children in Dorchester County live in poverty. We have only seven ABC Quality rated centers and only 3 of those have a B+ designation. The odds are stacked against us, but yet we have been able to make great gains towards improving the quality of child care in our area. We are currently working with seven centers and they all have made significant gains according to pre & post score results on the Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Scale. Five of the seven centers are ready to increase their ABC Quality rating, thus providing more quality care for children in our county. We provided Master Certified training to 283 child care providers. We were able to provide school transition for 79 at-risk, rising Kindergarten children through Countdown to Kindergarten. We provided 24 children with full-time scholarships for child care, so parents could attend school or work. We participated in six outreach opportunities and gave away over 300 books. We screened 47 children using the ASQ assessment and shared resources with each one to help the child and family. For 12 weeks we implemented a parenting program called “Positive Discipline for Parents” to incarcerated teens, who are parents, at the Dorchester County Department of Juvenile Justice. We served 18 males (ages 14-18) and 16 females (ages 14-17). We have done much more.

None of this would be possible without the able help and expertise of
the DCFS Staff: Alicia Turner, Ivory Mitchell and Kristy Allan and of course the DCFS Local Partnership Board’s support and belief in us. We are excelling despite the odds. Do you like us now?

~ Dr. Crystal Y. Campbell, Executive Director