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Family Support Services includes many important programs including our Family Resource Center, homeless support program, health services, counseling, mental health supports, suicide prevention, social emotional learning, wellness and more.

Family Resource Center – Linking families to local resources and services

Family Resource Center

The FRC is a family support center that links school families with local resources and human services addressing the needs of the whole child in order to promote student success. All families are welcome.

The FRC is a safe place where families can access information and available services including:

  • Basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing
  • Child academic and behavioral support
  • Medical and mental health
  • Special needs and disability
  • Financial and legal assistance
  • Educational and employment opportunities
  • Emergency assistance
  • Bellingham Public School provided resources and educational processes
Location

Shuksan Middle School, 2717 Alderwood Avenue
Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed 12 to 1 p.m.)
360-676-6456

 

Donations Accepted at the FRC

All items need to be in good, like new or new condition.

  • Blankets (queen and twin) in good condition.
  • Diapers, baby wipes, clothing (sizes 1,2,3,4,5*,6* – *highest need)
  • Kitchen items (plates, glasses, silverware, pots & pans, cooking utensils, microwaves, mixers and blenders.)
  • Towels (in good condition, prefer new)
  • Toilet paper
  • Laundry soap, dish soap
  • Shampoo, conditioner, bath/body soap (full-size, not travel/hotel size)
  • Deodorant (men and women)
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste

Furniture

(Please email a photo of the furniture.  We store these items at a different location.)

  • Beds (twin and queen) and bunk beds in good condition
  • Dining room tables and chairs
  • Sofas and arm chairs
  • Coffee tables, end tables and lamps

 

For low-cost internet service information please visit the Family Engagement webpage.

Homeless Support Program – Support for families experiencing homelessness

District Homeless Support

The Homeless Support Program serves homeless students enrolled in Bellingham Public Schools.  Services are provided through existing programs and strategies that integrate homeless individuals with non-homeless individuals. This program is designed to reduce isolation, maximize stability and maintain consistency for this population of children and youth. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law that guarantees all children and youth the right to an equal education regardless of their living situation.  Protection under the McKinney-Vento Act extends to those who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.

Homeless Support Program Coordinators

Roxana Parise
Homeless Support Specialist
360.676.6523
roxana.parise@bellinghamschools.org

Emily Humphrey-Krigbaum
Homeless Support Specialist
360.676.6524
emily.humprey-krigbaum@bellinghamschools.org

Support Services for Youth & Families

Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence qualify for McKinney-Vento (homeless) services. This includes:

  • Sharing the housing of others due to economic hardship (doubled up)
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations.
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Living in a public or private place not designated for humans to live
  • Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory children living in above circumstances
  • Unaccompanied youth (not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian)

All homeless students have the right to:

  • School stability – remain at their “school of origin”
  • Immediate enrollment – even without required registration documents
  • Transportation – to “school of origin” if requested
  • Free school meals – all homeless students automatically qualify

Contact a Homeless Program Coordinator to determine if your child is McKinney-Vento eligible and/or to request services.

Informational Resources

For more information about the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the educational rights of children and youth in homeless situations, refer to the following documents:


Homeless Support Program Partnerships

Homeless students’ challenges begin with a lack of stable access to shelter. Students facing homelessness also are far more likely to experience food scarcity (hunger), troubles with regular transportation, and inadequate medical and dental health care. They often end up moving around between multiple beds; this can have negative effects on their ability to sleep well, which then can affect other facets of their lives. They typically have greater difficulties with regular school attendance and finding a place outside of school where they can focus and complete homework assignments.

Homeless Support Stability Program (HSSP)

Bellingham Public Schools has also received a grant through the Homeless Student Stability Program (HSSP) within the Washington State Department of Commerce; this grant allows every district to have an Opportunity Council housing case manager. Having access to a housing case manager at Bellingham Public Schools will allow families to access services, such as Family Promise, regardless of whether they have transportation to the Opportunity Council or not.

Local Supports

  • Positive Adolescent Development (PAD), is a 21-day shelter for youth 13-17 through Northwest Youth Services and provides temporary shelter. Parental consent is required.
  • Opportunity Council – Homeless case manager, funded by HSSP, provides case management support specific to the needs of families youth, and children.
  • Family Promise of Whatcom County – This organization provides services for families who are experiencing the many challenges of homelessness. We’ve been meeting with Sara Lane, Family Promise Director, to develop our referral procedures.  As of right now, we understand that up to 50 percent of referrals to Family Promise are expected to come through the coordinated entry process at the Opportunity Council, and the rest through homeless liaisons, congregations and other organizations. 

National Homeless Resources


Community Resource Guide

Visit our Community Resource page for information on where to find additional support services in Whatcom County.

 

Foster Care

District Foster Care Liaison

The general role of the Bellingham Public Schools (BPS) Foster Care Liaison is to facilitate district compliance with state and federal laws as they relate to children and youth in foster care, and to collaborate with the DSHS/Children’s Administration (CA) in an effort to address educational barriers that prevent children and youth in foster care from being identified, enrolled, attending, and succeeding in school.

BPS Foster Care Liaison

Roxana Parise
360.676.6523
roxana.parise@bellinghamschools.org

Roles and responsibilities of the Foster Care Liaison may include:

  1. Coordinating with the corresponding child welfare agency point of contact on the implementation of the Title I, Part A provisions.
  2. Coordinating with the Foster Care Program Supervisor at OSPI.
  3. Attending training and professional development opportunities to improve district implementation efforts.
  4. Serving as the primary contact person for DSHS/CA and social workers.
  5. Leading and documenting the development of a process for making best interest determinations.
  6. Facilitating the transfer of records.
  7. Facilitating immediate enrollment.
  8. Facilitating data sharing with the child welfare agencies, consistent with FERPA and other privacy protocols.
  9. Developing and coordinating local transportation procedures.
  10. Managing best interest determinations and transportation cost disputes.
  11. Ensuring that children in foster care are enrolled in and regularly attending school.
  12. Providing professional development and training to school staff on the Title I, Part A provisions and educational needs of children in foster care, as needed.
Student Support Services in Schools

Counselors

All students now have the ability to access a school counselor.  In 2004, BPS only had three elementary counselors and 18 K-12 counselors.  We now have a counselor at all 14 elementary schools and 34 K-12 counselors.

Intervention and Prevention Specialists

The district has four intervention/prevention specialists. They are housed in our three largest high schools and Shuksan Middle School, but serve students in all of our middle and high schools.

Health Services

School nurses are specialized professionals who provide knowledgeable insight into acute and chronic health conditions and normal growth and development. Visit our Health Services webpage.

Mental Health Services

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Bellingham Public Schools will annually offer Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for parents and teachers. This class is designed to teach participants how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. The course teaches a five-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.

Supports in Schools

We have added licensed mental health therapists in all four high schools, two middle schools, and four elementary schools through partnerships with Sea Mar and Compass.

See Resources

Visit our community resources webpage.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

In our state, an average of two young people under 25 die by suicide every week and as many as one out of five students have seriously considered suicide in the last year. Bellingham Public Schools recognizes that the school plays a unique and important role in the prevention of youth suicide, violence and substance abuse and in the identification and treatment of mental health disorders in our community. Prevention begins with building a healthy school culture, where students feel loved and cared for.

Bellingham Public Schools Suicide Prevention Plan outlines our approach to prevention of and support for students experiencing emotional and behavioral distress and plans for supporting our school communities after a student’s death.

MAD-HOPE

We continue to grow the MAD-HOPE peer suicide awareness and prevention training.  In 2017-18 we trained over 1,300 people in peer suicide prevention training. Often peers are the first to notice suicidal tendencies. Of those taking the training, 92 percent felt confident they have increased willingness to intervene with a person feeling suicidal and know what to do.

See Resources

Visit our community resources webpage.

Responding to a Crisis

Mobile Response Team (MRT)

The district’s Mobile Response Team consists of trained staff who are equipped to support schools when a crisis occurs, such as the death of a student or family member or a community crisis.  Resources for Families and Staff when Talking to Children About Traumatic News or Events.

 

Safety and Emergency

Our Safety and Emergency webpage includes information about what Bellingham Public Schools is doing to keep students and staff safe, school emergency response drills, safety resources for families and more.

Community Resources

See Resources

Visit our community resources webpage.

Social and Emotional Learning Supports

Coming soon...

Wellness Supports

Coming soon...