Thursday, April 3, 2008

Child and Youth Services offers array of programs

Editorís note: In observance of Month of the Military Child, Walter Reedís Child and Youth Services will host a parade today at 4 p.m. at the Forest Glen Annex.

Walter Reed Child and Youth Services program can assist you in meeting your child-care needs.

The Walter Reed CYS programs are comprised of four delivery systems:

  • Child Development Services

  • School-Age Services

  • Youth Services

  • CYS Liaison, Education and Outreach Services.

    The programs enhance readiness by reducing the conflict between Soldiersí parental responsibilities and their on-the-job mission requirements. The programs facilitate Family self-reliance and reinforces Army values by providing predictable services for eligible children and youth from four weeks to 18 years of age. Most CYS care and supervision options are available 60 hours a week during duty hours, some evengins and weekends.

    The CDS delivery system is comprised of two child care facility-based centerws and a home-based program, Family Child Care in government quarters. Full-day and part-day options are provided for infants, toddlers and preschool-age children. The FCC program can also accommodate school-age children.

    The SAS delivery system offers before- and after-school programs, full-day programs during school vacation and school closures, and summer camp for children generally in kindergarten through fifth grade. Activities are organized with four service areas:

  • Arts, recreation and leisure

  • Life skills, citizenship and leadership

  • Sports, fitness and health

  • Academic support, nentoring and intervention and education support services.

    The YS delivery system offers regularlary scheduled programming and drop-in options for middle-school youth (sixth through ninth grades) and teens (10th through 12th grades).

    In addition to the four service area framework, baseline programming for youth includes: individual/group sports and fitness activities, self-directed activities, homework centers, computer labs, youth sponsorship, workforce preparation, community service and youth councils. Special WRAMC YS initiatives include: basketball, cheerleading and football clinics. One of the most recent highlights for the youth program was when the middle school and teen participants attended a weekend ski trip.

    The CLEOS delivery system encompasses both Youth Education Support and Outreach Services programs.

    The YESS program components include CYS School Liaison Services and Youth Education Liaison Services. The CYS Outreach Services include: Parent Liaison Services, CYS Community Liaison Services, CYS Liaison Services and Special CYS initiatives. In 2007, Walter Reed CYS took on the initiative of providing hourly care services to Wounded Warriors and their Family members.

    The Walter Reed CYS programs have received Department of Defense certification to operate on a daily basis under Army Regulation 608-10. Also, both the full-day child development center and the school-age program have been nationally accredited. The Walter Reed Youth Program recently became an affiliate member of the Boys and Girls Club of America and has established a 4-H club on the installation.

    To ensure all staff are properly trained and based on the age group that the staff member will be providing care, each new staff member is required to complete the initial training plan, a 12 to 18 months process. Upon completion of the program, each staff member is given the opportunity to receive the Child Development Associates credential. Currently, there are eight staff members (who work directly with children and youth) who have achieved the process and obtained their CDA.

    The Army Child and Youth Services program celebrates the Month of the Military Child yearly during April. Walter Reed will celebrate the children, youth and Families of the Walter Reed community during April with special events at the CDC at Forest Glen, School Age Services Center at Glen Haven and the hourly care facility on the main installation.

    On April 26, CYS will host a Kidís Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Forest Glen as the grand finale to the month-long celebration. The event will include pony rides, a petting zoo, games for kids, popcorn, cotton candy and a moon bounce. Officials will also be on hand to offer advice on child safety, child abuse prevention, Internet Safety and more. Adminssion is free.

    For more information, call (202) 782-0565 or drop by the Walter Reed CYS Central Registration Office in Delano Hall (Bldg. 11), Rm. 1-101.