The first home visit is conducted, for each Dreamer, by the PD, in the PD’s first three to four months in the role. At this home visit the highest priority is to begin building relationships. That is, the focus should be on listening, getting to know the people with whom the Dreamer lives, with a casual and friendly approach. The PD will also check basic data, like contact information, name spellings, emergency and medical information, and collect the final enrollment forms to complete that packet, etc. An interview form should be completed as a part of initial enrollment, however, this should be attended to either at the end, or in a second meeting that can be arranged at the end of this first meeting. Home visits continue throughout the life of a Dreamer Class and should be conducted annually, at a minimum.
At these meetings the PD, parents and Dreamer review the Dreamer’s goals and make a success plan, defining the roles of each. This is also a good time to renew/resign the original agreement with parents, and clarify roles.
While the greatest number of interactions with a Dreamer may be in group settings (for example, day-to-day after-school programming), individual conversations are critical to solidifying a personal relationship, and gaining access to a more complete picture of the Dreamer’s life. Specifically, the PD will personally conduct a one-on-one meeting with each Dreamer, at least once each year. Other program staff members (AmeriCorps) may be assigned the task of formal goal-setting and check-ins. However, the PD’s relationship with the Dreamer is the highest priority, and the PD will ensure they maintain that one-on-one relationship. The PD will also create opportunities for other positive adult role models and relationships, such as one-on-one tutors, and a mentor match for each Dreamer, as appropriate. Interactions with all supporting adults will be documented and be part of the PD’s case management for the individual Dreamer.
PDs become a part of the Dreamer’s daily life. The PD runs an afterschool program, days off school and weekend activities, a full-time summer program, support in school classrooms, and extended field trips that the Dreamer attends. These programs are designed to address a compilation of the needs identified for individual Dreamers, to build community, and to guide and instruct each Dreamer in the skills that will lead to success. Through these consistent interactions, the Dreamer learns to trust the PD, and understand them as a person who is there for them and is committed to their success.
Health and Wellness Referrals
Given the information the PD has gathered through relationships and data, regarding the individual strengths, interests, and challenges of each Dreamer, the PD guides the Dreamer to participate in programs and activities offered, provides specific services that the Dreamer needs to progress (anything from eyeglasses to specialized academic support or a mentor match), and is a trusted confidant.
When the Dreamer’s needs are outside the scope of “I Have A Dream” services, the PD will research as necessary and facilitate access to other agencies and resources. For example, “I Have A Dream” does not have a funding source for financial assistance in a family crisis such as making rent, or paying for a prescription medicine. However, there are other organizations who can help.
Holiday Gift Program
The PD’s role in the annual “I Have A Dream” holiday gift giving program, is to coordinate a wishlist for each Dreamer family, translate it as needed, and provide the list to the central office staff member who will then match that wishlist with a donor. Donors shop for and wrap gifts for each individual in the family. The PD then coordinates distribution to families, often as a part of the annual holiday party organized by parents.
School Supply Drive
“I Have A Dream” may provide each Dreamer with a backpack at the beginning of each school year, filled with school supplies, or partners with a program that can provide this resource.
Dreamer Enrollment and Class Data Setup
At the launch of each new Cohort of Dreamers, the PD participates in introductory meetings for parents, and then provides the follow-up to gather and complete all enrollment forms and materials. These materials and data are then entered in the “I Have A Dream” database (Salesforce) and used by the PD to create rosters, and other organizing lists of information. In addition, the PD completes an initial interview with families, and gathers baseline academic data from teachers.
Definition of Dreamer and Dreamer Guest
See official policy at the “Enrolling Dreamers” section for enrolling and withdrawing Dreamers.
Dreamer File Checklists
There are three checklists that aid PDs and the College and Career Department in maintaining hardcopy Dreamer records. See more information in the Dreamer Records section.
Case notes are the process of documenting information gained through conversations with the Dreamer and others, that summarize the Dreamer’s current situation. The PD will enter Case Notes in that section of Salesforce, at least once each semester, ideally each time they have extensive contact with a Dreamer parent/caregiver or Dreamer Scholar. Other staff members may also complete this task, but the PD must be well aware of both the information itself, and what is being entered in Salesforce.
Success Plans and Goal-Setting
At each appropriate interval (semesters, summer, special incentive program, etc.) the PD will guide each Dreamer in setting goals for the given timeframe. These goals are documented (see sample templates included in this section), along with the plan for how they will achieve the goal, and become the Dreamer’s plan for success. Goals related to grades, school attendance, and personal goals, are entered in Salesforce annually for each individual Dreamer, with the PD’s assessment of whether goals were met (see Data and Assessments section of this manual).
Each day, program staff will enter attendance for each Dreamer’s, and all supporting adult’s, in the Salesforce database. This data is used to monitor individual attendance for case management, and report on overall attendance statistics.
The PD tracks and submits data and receipts needed to satisfy specific grant requirements when implementing grant funded programming.
Database Entry and Maintenance
The PD will use the “I Have A Dream” database (Salesforce) to maintain current records related to Dreamers and Supporters for their Dreamer Class. These records provide both operational and reporting tools for organizing and managing data and programming.