The Region I Migrant Education Program assists in the coordination of health care services for migrant students and provides direct services where needed. In addition to the physical well-being of our students we also encourage asset building opportunities to strengthen and help our students become healthy, caring and responsible youth. We strongly believe that healthy students are most likely to reach their fullest education potential, and that healthy students are better learners. MEP regulations refer to this as the “academically related” health needs of students.
The health of migrant children reflects the nature of their mobile lifestyle. Most medical problems are related to deficiencies in diet, dental hygiene, and regular physicals. The factors that place migrant children at risk in terms of health include low income, isolation, lack of access to health services, language and cultural barriers, eligibility requirements, and discrimination.
Quality health care requires the collaboration and interaction of many agencies, each with specific areas of responsibility. Some of the key partners and agencies include school districts, regional migrant offices, community agencies/clinics, and county health departments. In order to provide appropriate follow-up, it is imperative that we know what the specific health needs of our students are. Once this information is gathered and needs are identified, then prioritizing students in terms of needs is an important concept. The availability of services is always less than the demand. Therefore, our relationships with our community agencies are essential. We ensure that every student with a health need is referred to the appropriate agency to receive quality and affordable care.
Developmental Assets are imbedded in all the work we do. Health workshops and training are provided to parents and students that support internal assets to help them recognize healthy relationships, attitudes and behaviors. These presentations also provide strategies that can be utilized to make healthier and safer choices regarding their health and emotional well-being.