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AWARE Ink Newsletter

Early Head Start Team Member Finds Inspiration In AWARE’s Mission


AWARE’s Early Head Start program has many dedicated staff who work to bring the best care to each of the children and families we serve.

 

Jenn Reed, AWARE health & disabilities manager, is one of those people who have dedicated their career to ensuring children get a great start from the very beginning.

 

Jenn has been with AWARE for more than 12 years. Currently, while she lives in Helena, she supports each of our Early Head Start Centers in Belgrade, Billings, Butte and Helena.

 

In a new position at AWARE, Jenn’s job is to get staff involved every day to connect with the children who attend the centers and interact with their families. She calls it an integrated workplace. She also supports staff who are providing care in mental health centers, ensuring they have the important documentation they need for each child and family.  

 

Throughout her time at AWARE, she has worked in a few different positions working with kids on both the Early Head Start and FACT teams. These positions helped her in her career as she went to college. She has a bachelor’s degree in counseling and currently is in the process of receiving her master’s degree, both from Post University, an online school that supports military families.

 

Jenn recognized the amazing staff who have mentored her throughout her career at AWARE.

 

“I love helping other professionals learn what I was taught,” she said.

 

Specifically, one success story she told included the entire team to get one family on track.

 

One mom was still struggling after taking part in many family-supported programs. Child protective services wanted AWARE’s early childhood program to step in as a “last ditch effort.” The mom was hard to work with and had no parenting skills. They were expecting the kids to go into the foster system.

 

Jenn said that the AWARE team went into the home, provided supervised visits and really got to know the mom. They learned that the mom had no confidence, felt belittled and had trauma of her own.

 

The good news is that AWARE’s team was able to connect with her and teach her how to play and laugh with her kids.

 

“The CPS case was closed, and she got to keep her kids,” she said.

 

When it comes to this success story, Jenn says that she thinks of the AWARE Unconditional Care Principle, ‘We Take On And Stick With The Hardest Challenges’.

 

“The mom was deemed as a failure and never going to be able to parent,” she said. “The team went all in, and we rocked it.”

 

Jenn is a mom of four girls in a blended family. Her husband serves in the Montana Army national Guard. 

When they’re not caring for the dog, two cats, bunny, chicken or horses, they like to travel together, go camping, boating and generally being outdoors.

 

“I love what I do and truly believe in AWARE’s mission,” she said.


Interested in joining AWARE's amazing Early Head Start team? Check out the available job opportunities here.

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