H.E.A.R.T.S. is an acronym for:
Our services and resources are available for both the English and Spanish speaking communities in Kern County. The organization receives grant funding through the Department of Developmental Services, the California Department of Education, and Kern Regional Center.
H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection Family Resource Center began in September 1990 when the LICA applied for a Family Support Grant from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to serve families who have special needs children under the age of 36 months. Families who were regional center clients with children under the age of three were invited to a retreat in Tehachapi. After the retreat, we started having monthly meetings in our homes. We have always been a parent founded and parent driven organization. We started as volunteers. With the support of the Kern Regional Center, the Bakersfield City School District, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, and the Kern County Consortium SELPA, we started in a small room with one paid staff member. As the years went on we slowly gained more part-time (parent) staff and more office space. We continue to received funding from DDS.
In 2002, H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection received the "Family Empowerment Center" grant from the California Department of Education to serve families who have children/adults with special needs from the ages of 3 to 22.
In 1999, we moved out of the regional center building. We have 13 staff members who work out of Bakersfield, Delano, California City, Ridgecrest, Lake Isabella and Tehachapi Family Resource Centers/Libraries. Most of our staff are part-time some working as little as 10 hours per week to several who work 30-35 hours per week. Four of our staff members speak English and Spanish.
Local agencies refer parents to our organization. We visit local Infant Development Programs on a monthly basis to provide support and resources to parents. Parents are also welcomed to call with concerns.