Becoming Entitled for the Family Specialist Credential
The Gateways to Opportunity Family Specialist Credential (FSC) is designed for those who work in direct partnership with families. This Credential validates those who work with families have the education and knowledge required to:
- Build strength-based relationships with families
- Encourage families to identify and set achievable goals
- Support families in developing the skills and knowledge needed to access resources
- Promote and strengthen bonds between parent and child
Family Specialist Credential professionals include Family Advocates, Family Engagement Specialists, Family Support Workers, Parent Educators, Social Workers, etc.
Family Specialist Credential
- pdf FSC Entitled Application Introduction (563 KB)
- document FSC Entitled Application (651 KB)
- pdf FSC Competencies by Credential level and suggested role (482 KB)
- pdf FSC Competencies within Content Areas inclusive of Benchmarks (324 KB)
- pdf FSC Content Areas (416 KB)
- FSC Toolbox
- pdf FSC Competency Framework (725 KB)
According to the Head Start Performance Standards 1302.91 (e) (7): “A program must ensure staff who work directly with families on the family partnership process hired after November 7, 2016, have within eighteen months of hire, at a minimum, a credential or certification in social work, human services, family services, counseling or a related field.” With over 900 Head Start locations in Illinois, family support specialist staff can use the Gateways Family Specialist Credential to meet this qualification.