Chattanooga Times Free Press
Head Start deserves congressional support
I recently joined Congressman Fleischmann in Washington, D.C., to discuss the impact of the opioid epidemic on children and families. While in Washington, I spoke at a Congressional Baby Caucus briefing, which Fleischmann co-chairs, on the important role that Head Start plays in helping our communities heal from substance misuse and addiction.
As CEO of the Family Resource Agency, I am blessed to work with dedicated members of our communities to deliver the high-quality, life-changing services of Head Start and Early Head Start to more than 1,800 children and families in Tennessee and Georgia. So when the President’s Commission on Combating Addiction and the Opioid Crisis reported that America needs to invest in “comprehensive family-centered approaches” with “access to drug screening, substance use treatment, and parental support,” the answer to me was clear.
With more infants suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome than ever before, and foster care, special education and criminal justice systems being overwhelmed, communities deserve a holistic solution like Head Start. Congress must allocate more funds to meet that need.
James E. Anderson