Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: local levels

This week I had the opportunity to explore various organizations and communities of practice in my own community.  A community of practice develops basically when a group of people with a common passion or concern work together to achieve goals that they might not achieve by working alone (Wenger, 1998).  I explored several C
The three organizations that I chose this week:
The Parenting Center http://theparentingcenter.org/
Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System http://www.uth.tmc.edu/tececds/

The Parenting Center:  The Parenting Center is just what the name implies, they provide counseling services, an advice line and classes for parents on co-parenting, communicating with your child, conflict resolution, parenting skills and family success.  I chose this organization as an example of a community of practice because of the various services offered which houses several communities of practice and are an excellent resource for families.  The service that I am most interested in is parenting and family life education whose mission is to provide “professionals and family members with the tools, resources and services to build successful families” (The Parenting Center, 2012).  This is an organization that I would get involved with but I did not find any information in the form of employment only volunteer opportunities.  The volunteer opportunities include group projects such as cleaning up playgrounds or organizing the children’s playrooms, joining board committees for the center, answering the phone or other office duties, marketing assistant, helping with the parenting advice line or assisting with social media for the Parenting Center.  Other than the desire to help there are few requirements listed for volunteers but they do provide training depending on the opportunity you choose.  I actually did fill out the form to volunteer for group projects and support services. 
Alliance for Children:  The Alliance for Children is all about child advocacy, in fact according to the website it was one of the first established children’s advocacy center programs in Texas and is the only Children’s Advocacy Center in Tarrant County.  This community of practice works with police departments, Child Protective Services and the district attorney.  Alliance for Children not only helps the children of abuse heal they train adults to prevent the abuse through group counseling, Prevent Now which is an education program to prevent physical and sexual abuse and Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy uses therapy dogs with the counseling program.  I chose this organization because of my desire to become more involved in advocacy for young children.  Again this organization offers several opportunities to get involved and the opportunity I found most interesting was that of Family Advocate.  This program offers group counseling for youth victims of sexual abuse, group counseling for the protective parents, bilingual group counseling, court accompaniment, referrals, liaison between families and partner agencies.  Other programs offered include Therapy Dog, Backpack and Holiday Assistance.  The Family Advocate program is available to families that do not qualify for continued service through Child Protective Services but could benefit from additional assistance.  This organization also works with volunteers and provides training in several areas to help the volunteer become a true advocate.  In the case of actual employment you would apply with the agency that works with Alliance for Children individually.
Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System:  TECPDS is an organization that “was created to ensure that high quality professional development opportunities are available statewide to individuals working in early care and education” (Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System, n.d.).  This is the organization you would apply to in order to become a registered trainer in Texas.  The job opportunities for this organization are a little different from a regular job in that you are simply applying to become a Texas trainer.  In order to qualify as a trainer there are few steps to complete:  online orientation, complete application and submit a training proposal.  It is my desire to become a registered trainer and I have begun the steps needed to do so by completing the orientation.

The above are just three organizations in my local area in which I could see myself involved in.  They focus on parent education, advocacy and professional development which are all areas of focus for me.

The Parenting Center. (2012). Retrieved March 15, 2013, from The Parenting Center: http://theparentingcenter.org/parenting-and-family-life-education/
Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System . (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2013, from n.d.: http://www.uth.tmc.edu/tececds/
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning as a social system . Retrieved March 12, 2013, from Systems Thinker : http://www.co-i-l.com/coil/knowledge-garden/cop/lss.shtm l

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