Access to Services
The Farmworker Coordinating Council serves farmworkers by connecting them to community services they would otherwise not be able to access given language, cultural and economic barriers. In Palm Beach County alone farmworkers speak several different languages including Spanish, Haitian Creole, and at least five Guatemalan Mayan languages. This makes communicating with agencies and businesses difficult and prevents farmworkers from obtaining needed services. Many farmworkers are newcomers to the area or even the country. Still others only reside in Florida for part of the year, making it difficult to orient themselves to the community. Furthermore, poverty, lack of transportation, and cultural barriers force many farmworkers to do without needed services. Therefore, simple daily activities such as opening a bank account, seeking medical treatment or even filing a tax return become an impossibility for many. The Farmworker Coordinating Council strives to break down these barriers and empower their clients to fully integrate themselves into the community. Below are some of the ways the Farmworker Coordinating Council connects farmworkers to their community.
The Farmworker Coordinating Council staff are all bilingual speaking Spanish, English, and Haitian Creole in response to the needs of the community they serve as Interpretors and provide clients who need to communicate with individuals and agencies such as social services, schools, legal services with interpretation services.
Clients often need assistance with applications for jobs, public benefits, writing letters to family members, or with many other documents and forms.
Most farmworkers cannot afford to own their own car. Due to a lack of adequate public transportation and dispersed housing throughout the county, the Farmworker Coordinating Council serves a great need by providing safe rides for farmworkers and their families for medical, social services and legal appointments.
The Farmworker Coordinating Council strives to reach out to farmworkers throughout the county by meeting with people in their homes or at community gatherings. Our bilingual staff inform potential clients of services and provide informative orientations about our programs and services as well as other community resources.
Advocacy and Referrals
Many times transportation, interpretation and outreach are not enough to connect clients to needed services. The Farmworker Coordinating Council staff advocates on behalf of clients to obtain benefits, job training, legal rights, or improved housing. The advocacy process includes an assessment and provides options for to advocate for themselves in the future.
The Farmworker Coordinating Council works closely with organizations throughout the County to better serve the farmworker population. Referrals and follow up contacts are often made with community agencies if a client's needs cannot be fulfilled at the FWCC.
Assistance to Access Health Care Services
FWCC has been designated by the Department of Children and Families as a Platinum Community Partner. This partnership allows staff to help clients requesting Medicaid coverage to access the online application system thus expediting the application process and making it easier for clients and their children to obtain much needed medical coverage.