Where the Heart Is

Where the Heart Is

Building Enhanced Services for Transition

Transition can be complicated for all of us. But for state agency children with little or no support groups in place, it can be a truly frightening experience. Transiting state agency children need additional support structures in place to allow them to thrive in their new school environments. A friendly face or just someone to share life’s peaks and valleys could make all the difference for these at-risk students.  Research has shown that students who leave state agency programs and go on to be successful usually have someone with whom they can connect, confide and count-on.

When asked what their biggest fear is, most transitioning youth say that it is moving into a different school environment. To help alleviate this fear, the KECSAC community has developed a transition program called “Where the Heart Is.”  The concept for this program is simple. A network of caring educators with the common goal of creating a sense of welcome and belonging for our students and a logo that will help youth identify who those educators are.

The word about “Where the Heart Is” is spreading quickly. Many KECSAC programs are already on board with this initiative, and across the Commonwealth the logo can be found in many of our regular public schools. To help the program grow within our KECSAC facilities, we ask you to familiarize your students with this logo. Let them know that when they see this logo in another school or facility, it means there is someone in that classroom or work area that has made a commitment to listen in a positive and non-judgmental way. The person behind the logo can be counted on to offer a sense of welcome and belonging to our students.

A strong presence of the logo in our KECSAC facilities is a crucial piece in enhancing the statewide effort to ensure that our youth will feel at home in a new school environment. Because state agency children often move from one KECSAC setting to another, we want them to know that we are working together on their behalf and share the desire to see them succeed.

Knowing the meaning of this logo will remind students who transition back to public school that the sense of belonging is not behind them, but can be a part of the new school as well. Research shows that students are often lost within the first three months after transition. Having a caring person to share life’s concerns with could make all the difference for these students.

We encourage all KECSAC facilities to educate our youth about the meaning of this logo and become a part of the “Where the Heart Is” transition network. For the printable logo, brochure, and a complete resource guide including Mission/Vision/Objectives, please visit the Resources page at www.kecsac.eku.edu.

Contact Information

Katie Helton

Published on September 27, 2011